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August 9, 2011

Ohio Supercomputer Steamlines 400-MPH Electric Car

Nicole Hemsoth

The Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) is being used to test the new generation of an electric car that has been reported to be capable of reaching speeds upwards of 400 miles per hour.

The team, comprised mostly of engineering students at the Ohio State University’s Center for Automotive Research, has been refining the design, build, and alternative fuel scenarios since 2001, producing a number of experimental vehicles that reach top speed using battery power.

This newest version of the “Buckeye Bullet” which is currently undergoing aerodynamic testing at OSC, could dramatically outpace its competitors, the fastest of which was clicked at just over 300 miles per hour in 2004 and well over 300 mph a few years later.

The current incarnation of the Buckeye Bullet is being redesigned “from the ground up” according to Ohio State University’s project lead, Giorgio Rizzoni.

As Rizzoni went on to note,  “Driven by two custom-made electric motors designed and developed by Venturi, and powered by prismatic A123 batteries, the goal of the new vehicle will be to surpass all previous electric vehicle records.”

According to Chief Engineer for the project, OSU mechanical engineering student, Cary Bork, “What sets the new design apart from the previous Buckeye Bullet vehicles is that at these higher speeds it is possible to produce shock waves under the vehicle. Such shock waves under the vehicle negatively affect the vehicle drag and can produce lift. Lift is undesirable in this application. Minimizing or eliminating these shock waves is critical to ensuring the safety and stability of the vehicle.”.

In addition, the student team behind the project hopes to be able to reduce drag on the new vehicle by almost 15%, running several fluid dynamics scenarios at OSC.

Full story at Earthtechling