Ohio State University and Venturi build the world’s most powerful EV and (maybe) the world’s fastest

Venturi VBB-3The car you see here is about as far removed from a Nissan Leaf as you can get. It’s a collaboration between Ohio State University and Venturi, and will attempt to set a world speed record for electric cars this September. The target speed? 435 mph (700 kph).

This car, called VBB-3, is actually the third “Buckeye Bullet” land speed record car built by OSU and Venturi. Driver Roger Schroer took the VBB-2.5 to 307.58 mph in 2010, giving him the current FIA world record.

VBB-3 will up the ante with 3,000 horsepower, making it the most powerful electric car ever built. It will be nicknamed “Jamais Contente” in honor of Camille Jenatzi, the first person to break the 100 kph (62 mph) barrier. Jenatzi’s car was named Jamais Contente and was also powered by batteries.

The VBB-3 will be unveiled at Speedweek at Utah’s famous Bonneville Salt Flats in August, but it’s first record run won’t happen until September 12. OSU and Venturi hope to achieve 373 mph (600 kph) in 2013, and the ultimate goal of 435 mph in 2014.

The Buckeye Bullets’ achievements so far have been impressive, but they also show just how far EVs have to go to match the performance of burned carbon compounds.

While OSU and Venturi are tuning VBB-3, Andy Green will be running the jet-and-rocket-powered Bloodhound SSC up to around 800 mph. It will just be a warmup for an eventual attempt at breaking the 1,000 mph barrier, which would make Green the fastest person on wheels.


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