Electric land speed record holder joins Future Car Challenge
They say things run in the family, but what about speed? We reckon it must do as Electric Land Speed Record holder, Don Wales, has a few speed demons in his family tree.
Wales is the nephew of Donald Campbell and grandson of Malcolm Campbell, the famous family that chased speed records on water and land, and in fact, Wales actually set his 137mph Electric Land Speed record in a vehicle named Bluebird.
Whatever form of motorsport you're competing in, it's all about pushing the envelope of what's possible. Whether that's speed or technology it all counts. And with electric vehicle technology being developed at a relentless pace by modern manufacturers, Wales' achievements show what's possible for EVs on the Queen's highway.
As a result, Wales will compete in the RAC Future Car Challenge on 5 November, a pre-cursor to the famous London to Brighton run the following day, to show what's possible for production electric motors. The volt head will be driving a Toyota Auris Hybrid T Spirit in a bid to complete the route using as little energy as possible.
Wales' record braking Bluebird Electric will also be on show, and although unchanged to the eye since it's 2000 record, under its skin the engineering is all-new.
Getting techy, Bluebird Electric's 300 nickel-cadmium vented cell batteries provide power to brushless permanent magnetic motors. But what you really need to know is that the Bluebird each motor produces 268bhp and a total of 811lb ft of twist.
The challenge might be a far cry away from Wales' ultimate goal of hitting 500mph in his Bluebird Electric by 2013, but none the less, it proves EV technology is not to be sniffed at.
After all, people didn't scoff at his ancestors' attempts to push the boundaries of what was possible back when petrol was the 'new fuel'.