An electric car designed and built by Brigham Young University Engineering students set a world land speed record for its weight class. The record was 155.8 mph averaged over its two required qualifying runs, with a maximum speed of 175 mph.
The team was led by recently retired associate professor Perry Carter who taught at BYU for over 30 years. The record resulted from seven years of work by over 130 students, overseen by Carter. “This is a wonderful closure to 31 years of teaching at BYU and many projects,” Carter said after the record was certified. “But this is the one that takes the cake. I’m done.”
The car is called a streamliner, meaning it was designed with proper aerodynamics to reduce air resistance and maximize efficiency. The lightweight carbon fiber body was modeled by students in a computerized virtual wind tunnel.
The car is named "Electric Blue," and competes in the "E1" class, which includes cars weighing less than 1,100 pounds. There were no prior certified records in this class, despite earlier runs by both the BYU and other teams.
“Students who study music need to give concerts, students who study dance need to perform, and students who study engineering need to engineer things and compete to see how they work,” said Carter, the team mentor. “Experiential education is a key aspect of every program.”