E=motion, the name given to a World Electric Land Speed Record contender has been sold at auction for a second time, for a mere £11,500 including buyers premium. The auction was Bonhams’ annual auction at the Beaulieu Autojumble this weekend the 7th and 8th.
Commissioned for an attempted FIA World Electric Land Speed Record by Prime Time Land Speed Engineering, E=motion was constructed by Hauser Race Cars, one of the UK’s leading dragster constructors. Prime Time already had a couple of exciting jet powered racers and hoped to best the long standing sub 1000kg electric vehicle record with this new machine.
Two ABB through-ventilated AC electric motors (ABB Type ACS 800) were chosen to fulfill the power required to accelerate the car over the measured mile and chrome-molybdenum tubing was employed to keep weight down but strength up in the chassis. Clad in aluminium and Carbon Fibre, the cars total weight came to a mere 750kilos. Considering the car’s tiny featherweight, this does not correlate to it being a small car, instead, E=motion is over 30 feet long, yet has a tiny profile of 24 inches high and 30 inches wide.
Willwood drag racing units on each wheel provided stopping power, working alongside tail mounted parachutes. Keeping the wheels on the ground over the types of terrain expected for a land speed attempt meant AVO’s fully adjustable coil-over shocks were an ideal choice.
Incredibly, the car was made with almost all drive train parts being mainstream ‘off the shelf’ parts, requiring only sourcing and putting together in the cars unique frame.
Bruntingthorpe was selected as the ideal location for testing and the car didn’t disappoint, reaching speeds of nearly 150mph over a one-mile distance. In 2005 E=motion was taken to Chott el Jerid in Tunisia for it’s inaugural attempt at a record run, but sadly bad weather meant the attempt had to be postponed.
A second effort was made with the car and Nevada, home to many other record attempts was chosen as the venue. During final testing, the engineers set the car to a mere 48% power and were still able to achieve an average speed of 189.9mph over a measured mile, reaching a top speed of over 200mph. Just as expectations and hopes were raised, a technical problem ended the possibility of an officially timed run and lack of further funding meant the project was shelved.
Since then, the car enjoyed limelight at the Beaulieu National Motor Museum as a display until it was then sold at auction in 2009, interestingly, for about half the value of this weekend’s auction.
Despite the car never reaching an official measured mile, it is completely conceivable that it might have been able to do so, and is still capable of doing so should the new owner decide to make an attempt on the record. Only this year was the bar raised by Lord Drayson in his modified Lola to just over 204mph – well within reach of E=motion’s design capability.