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Planning EV Race Car

13362 Views 30 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  dougingraham
Hi All,
My name is Alex. I'm a big EV enthusiast and I have decided that I want to build a race car. I have little experience disassembling and reassembling cars but I am fairly apt with my hands and I'm fairly bright.
Here's a little bit about me, I am a student at a small university in upstate NY. I worked for two years for the University of Toronto on the original Surface and Google Glass with regards to notifications. I am going to major in Physics.

I have considered which car will serve as the basis for my car. I would prefer if I kept that private for now. Its a small car, perfect for racing.

The range I would like to achieve is around 80 miles at very high speed.

Yasa 750 (H if available) x4 probably.

Battery pack ideas? Looking for Li-Ion

Rimac Battery Packs - if they are for sale.
Drive inverter?
Reinhart Controllers - PM250

Basic knowledge of EVs:

Energy goes in to the car from the grid through an adapter into a charger. The charger fills the pack. When you push down on the accelerator the controller allows current to flow into the inverter which converts the DC -> AC to spin a brushless motor. The motor usually connected to a reduction gear or gearbox spins the gears etc.

Is that correct? How does one program regenerative breaking?

That is really all that I have thought about.
I'm willing to push the limits financially right now. I would, however, like to keep track of the price of the parts.

Any and all help is greatly appreciated.

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I'm sure you are aware that this will be expensive, and presumably you have a budget.

Forget about supercaps. Energy density is way too low for what you want. Modern batteries are plenty fast, and if you assemble a battery that gives the range you are talking about, you'll have lots of power on tap.
Here's what I would do, if I had your desire and your budget:

I'd stick with the four motor concept. I would drive them with four Rinehart controllers. Go with the PM150 series--there is no other controller available that will be small enough to fit four in your little car; it is by far the most power dense AC controller available publicly. Don't worry about it "only" being 150kW. That's a total of 800hp in your car.

As far as the battery goes, shoot for a 50kwh pack. That will give you a bit more than the 150 miles you need, but you'll need that size to get the power you need. Your best bet will be LiPo batteries rated at 20C. Discounting voltage sag, a 50kwh pack at 20C gives you 1000kw. With sag, it'll run your 4 motors.

The Rimac battery pack isn't going to cut it. They are LiFePo4 batteries, which is a great chemistry but it isn't that power dense. Rimac gets around it by having a bigger overall pack than you would be able to fit into your car.

In addition to talking to Rimac, I'd email Steve Tice at, who might be more likely to have things available (and which would eliminate the complication of importing from Europe). He'll likely try to sell you on using his motor as well, which might not be a terrible idea anyway. Although they are twice as heavy, they also have twice the continuous power rating, due to liquid cooling of the stator and rotor.

All of this is assuming you have money. Needless to say, to get the attention of evdrive, Rimac or anyone else selling super high end stuff you'll need to come to the table with money. You haven't mentioned your budget yet, but your 4 motor AC supercar is going to cost over 100K just in motors controllers and batteries.

Oh yeah, you'll need a reduction gearbox for each motor too :) If you can pull this off, it'll be epic.
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I'm here to learn. I'm young. I have no experience with EVs. I was asking for parts. I know that I need to learn more. I don't expect to just build this thing.

If you have time, aptitude to learn and most of all a forgiving budget, you'll be fine. Recognize that this is going to be harder and more expensive than you expect. But that doesn't make it impossible. Try to avoid spending huge amounts of money on something until you are sure it's what you want. For instance, if you have a motor in mind, go with the mindset that it's the wrong choice and prove to yourself that it's not.

This forum has lots of examples of people who started with very little knowledge and made a great car. They all had access to money. Most of the people on here are looking for something that's not too hard, not too expensive, and has been done before.
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