Drayson Racing just set a new land speed record for electric cars, reinforcing its position as one of the world’s top EV manufacturers. With chief executive and former science minister Lord Drayson behind the wheel, the Lola B12 69/EV hit a top speed of 204.2 mph at a racetrack in Yorkshire. In setting the new record, Drayson shattered the previous record of 175 mph that was set by Battery Box General Electric nearly 40 years ago.

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This isn’t the first record set by Drayson Racing; last year, the company set a different speed record at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. To qualify for the world electric land speed record, the Drayson vehicle had to weigh in at less than 1,000 kg without the driver. For the car, Drayson removed part of the biofuel engine from a Le Mans Series car and replaced it with a lightweight 850-horsepower, 20-kilowatt-hour battery. Speed isn’t the only thing that sets the Drayson Racing prototype electric vehicle apart from its peers; it’s also the first electric vehicle to set a record using wireless charging technology created by QualcommHalo.

“I’m delighted we’ve beaten the record tonight and can show the world EVs can be fast and reliable,” said Drayson. “It is not the outright speed that is most impressive about this record, but the engineering challenge of accelerating a 1,000kg electric vehicle on a short runway over a measured mile. What it, I hope, shows to people is just what the future potential of electric cars is.”

And in another sign of Google’s interest in electric vehicles, Google executive Eric Schmidt visited the track for about two hours on Tuesday, but he reportedly left before the record-setting drive.

+ Drayson Racing

via BBC News