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Let S Get E=Motivated!

01 November 2003

Let's get e=motivated!

That redoubtable duo on the 'extreme machine' scene, Mark Newby and Colin
Fallows, are at it again! Sadly missing out on an attempt at the World
Electric Land Speed Record in Tunisia last September they have managed to
reschedule it for next year - subject to them gaining further
sponsorship. Les Hunt takes a closer look at 'e=motion'

In a test run last July, the British challenger to the World Electric
Land Speed Record, 'e=motion', unofficially beat the UK record for the
fastest electric vehicle. Driver, Mark Newby and designer, Colin Fallows
are supremely confident that their creation will eventually beat the
current world record of 245mph (held by the American 'White Lightning'
team) - but this does depend on them gaining at least another £22,500 in
sponsorship funding.

The shortfall in funding meant missing the Tunisia attempt last
September, but the team has scored something of a coup by scheduling the
next attempt in the Spring of 2004 at the Verneuk Pan in the Northern
Province of South Africa. This was the location for Sir Malcolm
Campbell's outright World Land Speed Record attempt some 75 years
earlier, and e=motion is hoping to ride the wave of publicity that this
anniversary is bound to generate - hopefully gaining some additional
sponsors into the bargain!

But what about the car, and more particularly, what lurks beneath those
aluminium and carbon fibre panels? During recent trials, journalists were
given the opportunity to see exactly what makes this extraordinary
machine tick.

Going to the heart of the beast, the power source comprises a total of 54
lead-acid batteries supplied by Bolton based CMP Batteries. The battery
pack (located in four detachable trays) is based on Exide's deep cycle,
spiral wound 'Orbital' cell technology. This offers a high
power-to-weight ratio, a rapid charge capability (the entire pack is
fully charged in 20 minutes) and a high current delivery for short
periods - all ideal characteristics for e=motion. They are configured to
provide a 600V output to an ABB ACS 800 inverter with direct torque
control, located just forward of the driver's position.

The inverter drives two ABB 40kW IP23 through-ventilated, square-frame ac
induction motors that can operate at speeds of up to 9,000rpm. For this
application, each motor is force-ventilated to prevent their temperature
rising above 165°C. Tractive power is conveyed from the motors to the
driving wheels via belts supplied by Transmission Developments and
ultra-low friction roller bearings supplied by NSK, and is in excess of
500bhp. The drive is capable of providing full motor torque at zero
speed, ensuring maximum available acceleration. Indeed, e=motion achieved
its unofficial UK electric speed record of 146mph within a distance of
just 1,000 yards; the car that currently holds the record needed two
miles to reach this speed.

In the first power train test on axle-stands last May, e=motion ran
flawlessly at 6,000rpm, which would propel her at 304mph on the track.
Given the outstanding performance in July on a runway in Leicestershire,
confidence is running high that a new World Electric Speed Record will be
in British hands by next Spring.

Do you have associates or sister companies in South Africa who might like
to co-sponsor e=motion? Email Mark Newby at

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