EV Autocrossing

by Ben N on May 25, 2010

Hey Everyone,

This weekend, I was invited by some new friends to come out to an “Auto-Cross” event.

I really wasn’t familiar at all with Autocross, but it sounded interesting.

Basically, it’s racing a car (just about any car, doesn’t have to be fancy!) around a track made of cones. Racing is based on time, usually somewhere around a minute.

Everything from Honda Civics, to pure custom cars can compete. I even saw a Gen 1 Honda Insight there!

Since my Electro-Metro was going to be in town that day anyways, I took it over to the event. I was wondering what it would take to compete with MY humble little EV.

After talking with one of the guys there, it looks like the main thing would be to make sure every single darn power connection was covered, and bolt down the cover over the rear battery box. Another guy recommended adding a steel strap to the battery box cover. Not that it really would be needed, but it would be very reassuring to race officials.

After looking at the speeds and a few of the corners that those guys take, I decided the car would need to run at higher voltage, while keeping the center of gravity low. The car is currently running at 72V. When I have run it at higher voltages, it has been with additional batteries in the trunk space on a steel frame. This works great in terms of space, but raises the center of gravity and adds weight to the back; BAD for high-speed cornering!!!

My friend Tom has some small Hawker batteries that have good amperage ratings on them. 12 of those would easily fit in my rear battery box. Perhaps I could borrow them for racing…..

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