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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

“Big Daddy” Don Garlits Quest to drive the first Battery powered Dragster to 200 mph

Drag racing legend “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, on the 50th anniversary of Garlits’ historic first official 200 mph pass in 1964, will attempt to drive the first battery-electric dragster to exceed 200 mph on a ¼ mile drag strip.

The Quest Dragster will be powered by a 1.5 Megawatt array of lithium polymer (LiPo) batteries. This equates to over 2000 HP which will drive 6x General Electric DC motors via 3x Zilla controllers.

This powertrain is being built by the same team behind the first electric vehicle to break 200 mph in the quarter mile. The Rocket bike made history May 4, 2012 with a record run of 6.940 at 201.37 mph.

The bike was built by Lawless Industries and Orange County Choppers. Where the Rocket bike used A123 high-performance Nanophosphate lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries the dragster will use a lithium polymer (LiPo) battery pack supplied by HighTech Systems LLC. While A123 cells are known to have a very impressive peak discharge rate of 50C, Li Po cells like those used in the 9 second electric Mazda Miata 'Assault and Battery' peak at 100C with the newest LiPo batteries rated up to 150C.

The title of World's fastest Electric Car in the quarter mile is currently held by Dennis Berube's Current Eliminator V dragster with an elapsed time of 7.956 @ 159.85 MPH. This record has stood since December 30th 2007. Power for the record run came from Altairnano lithium-titanate batteries via a early version of the same GE 13 inch DC Motor used by the Lawless Rocket. and now Don Garlits' Quest SR-37 Dragster is powered by six 7.5" GE motors in a V6 arrangement not a single 13" as in the Rocket drag bike.

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