A World Distance Record Without Recharging?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants Leave a Comment

The headline reads, “EV breaks record with 1,003-km run,” but that might be a little misleading.

The Kyodo News reported the following about an astonishing run made with a Daihatsu electric vehicle. “A Tokyo civic group said Sunday it managed to get an electric car to run 1,003.184 km (about 622 miles) without a recharge, shattering its own world record from last year.”

“The Japan Electric Vehicle Club said it will ask Guinness World Records to officially recognize the journey, which was completed at a racing course in Shimotsuma, Ibaraki Prefecture, as the world’s longest. The vehicle, powered by Sanyo Electric Co.’s lithium-ion battery system, ran for about 27 1/2 hours until around 2:30 p.m. Sunday (actually May 22 to 23, 2010), at a speed of about 40 kph (24.8 mph), the group said. A total of 17 people took turns at the wheel.”

Sanyo/Daihatsu Mira with Japan Electric Vehicle Club team

“Guinness World Records has officially recognized a 555.6-km journey the group made in an electric car from Tokyo to Osaka last November as the longest ever by electric vehicle without recharging.”

We congratulate the club members for their skiill and perseverance, but perhaps the Guinness people need to set criteria to enable proper evaluation of such claims.  Going 25 miles per hour for 27-1/2 hours does eventually get you somewhere, but how does that compare to Alan Cocconi’s T-Zero’s run (driven by Tom Gage) in 2003,  302 miles without recharging, at an average speed of 58 mph, and a recent Telsa Roadster 313 mile drive across a section of the Australian Outback, again without recharging and presumably at highway speeds.  (See “Twice Around London – Without Recharging,” May 31, 2010.)

Obviously, the power required to move at 60 mph is greater than at 25, and would run the batteries down far more quickly.  A host on BBC-TV’s Top Gear did about three full-out laps around the show’s airport course  in a Tesla before running out of kilowatt hours and whining to an ignominious stop.  It would be helpful to be able to compare apples, or cumquats, on a fruitful basis.  For the mathematically and technically inclined, here are specifications for the “record-breaking” Daihatsu battery pack:

Number of batteries – 8,320 cylindrical (18650 size, or 18mm in diameter by 65 mm long) Sanyo lithium-ion cells

Power – 240.5 Volts

Total energy – approximately 50 kWh, with a maximum possible of 74 kWh

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *