Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Kleenspeed reports on testing the EV-X11 electric race car at Infineon Raceway

Kleenspeed, developer of electric vehicle drive train components, just distributed a press release going over results of their recent testing with the EV-X11 electric race car.  This car is based on the West WX-10 race car chassis, and has been outfitted with electric drive train components for Kleenspeed to use in testing the technology being developed by the company.  The company has taken the vehicle to all the REFUEL races, and intends to do so again this year.  Their results at the REFUEL series lets the company go around claiming the EV-X11 is the fastest electric race car in the world.  I suppose Toyota or Quimera or Drayson might quibble with that claim, but Kleenspeed may be correct in that the EV-X11 is the fastest electric race car in some precise categorization.  In any case, the EV-X11 holds the track record at Laguna Seca for electric race cars.

Getting to the report - in May the company spent two days at the Infineon Raceway doing tests on days that other gas race cars were testing.

Since REFUEL 2011 the company has improved the battery management system, data collection and telemetry, and the motor controller has been turned up to 100% from the 65% it was at in 2011.  As a result of the higher power levels, they've switched from a Gates belt to a chain drive, and have upgraded the suspension system.

The first session, on May 7, Kleenspeed CEO Tim Collins took the car through 5 laps without incident.  However, they determined the car was very much faster than last years setup and needed more suspension work.

After adjusting suspension and dampers Kleenspeed brought the EV-X11 back to the track on May 14.  This time they tapped on Kevin Mitz of Rennworks Motorsports to be the driver.  They report hitting a top speed of 125 miles/hr on the front straightway at Infineon, and Mitz supposedly thinks the car can do low 1:30's lap times.

"The EV-X11 is really a revelation to drive and I'm impressed with the sophistication of the KleenSpeed powertrain. The unique EV torque curve gives me extra pull off he corners and the elimination of the constant shifting a gasser requires keeps the EV-X11 in a steady state that makes for smoother, faster laps. No question, KleenSpeed's EV technology offers significant advantages in a race car." said Kevin Mitz

KLEENSPEED President, Tim Collins offered the following insights after the sessions.

"Wow ... we really have made progress in the past year. All the data we acquired and the move to 100% power have made a huge difference in the feel the car. It is so strong now that I have to be very careful in putting the power down, as it is very easy to spin. I think the chassis tuning has helped corner speed significantly and I feel that putting a full time racer behind the wheel is really necessary now."

"In addition to the added power and torque, the car is clearly more capable. I'm really impressed with the 2012 updates to the EV-X11. All credit goes to Dante Zeviar, our CTO and chief designer, and the KleenSpeed mechanical and electrical engineers and crew members, with the input of pro racer, Kevin Mitz on chassis set up. "

"KleenSpeed wants to retain our lap record at Laguna Seca during the upcoming ReFuel TT and keep the EV-X11 as the fastest electric race car in the world. I'm very excited and looking forward to ReFuel on July 1st with confidence."

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