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e-Motor testing for a new world land speed record

On the 26th of June 2013 Drayson Racing Technologies set a new World Electric Land Speed Record of 205.139mph in the sub-1,000kg class (subject to FIA homologation).

Drayson car

The unique capabilities of the WMG centre HVM Catapult’s Energy Innovation Centre (EIC) were used to support Drayson Racing Technologies in achieving this world land speed record. The high performance capabilities of the EIC Powertrain testing facility (known as the Vehicle Energy Facility) were used to test the e-motors that would be used in the world record attempt. This allowed the motors to be pushed to the absolute limit of their performance.

Motor installed in Drayson B12/69 EV Motor and Power Pack on Dynamometer
Motor installed in Drayson B12/69 EV Motor & power pack on dynamometer


The electric machines were tested using a 570kW high performance dynamometer with the DC electrical power for the e-motors being provided by a 250kW battery simulation system. This configuration allowed the Drayson Racing Technologies technical specialists to run the e-motors at their absolute limits of power and performance.

Over a period of several months the Drayson Racing Technologies engineers were able to characterise the performance of the electric motors under extreme conditions, trial different control strategies, and ultimately optimise the motor control software and algorithms. This work resulted in a near doubling of the available power that could be delivered by the electric motors. This was a key part of the many advances in electric vehicle performance required to achieve the world land speed record.

Angus Lyon, Drayson Racing Technologies Chief Engineer, Electric Drivetrain said:

Without the testing work carried out at WMG’s facilities we could not have achieved the land speed record.”

WMG centre HMV Catapult’s Energy Innovation Centre provides unrivalled capability in the testing of electric vehicle systems and powertrains, from single cells to complete vehicle battery packs, motors and drive systems.

The Drayson Racing FIA World Land Speed Record from Drayson Racing on Vimeo:

Equipment used in this case study:

  • 4-quadrant AC Dynamometer (high dynamic drive), maximum power 570kW, 3,200Nm, 5,000rpm.
  • High power battery pack cycler and simulation system, maximum power 250kW, 900V, 500A.
  • Multiple independent liquid cooling circuits (variable temperature and flow rates).
  • Multi-channel AC power measurement and analysis system.

For more information please contact:

Richard Seager, Business Development Manager at r.seager@warwick.ac.uk or on +44(0)2476 575935