New classes for electric cars

Discussion related to classification of cars in the NEHA series.

New classes for electric cars

Postby Kiwi » Thu Dec 19, 2013 4:35 pm

I would like to propose two new classes for NEHA:

1) Electric Modified (EM)
2) Electric Production (EP)

Both classes must use only electric power (during racing). Mechanical power must be provided only by electric motor(s), which are powered only by electric storage devices (batteries, capacitors, other charge accumulators) or fuel cells. Specifically excluded are combustion processes using hydrocarbon fuel, for example, gasoline or diesel engine powering the wheels directly or through an electricity-converting device (generator).

The Electric Modified class is for custom-built electric race cars, or modified production-based electric cars, or production-based cars converted to electric power.

The Electric Production (EP) class is for cars built by a recognized manufacturer, with no or few performance modifications. EP cars are typically pure electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf, Chevy Spark EV, Ford Focus electric, BMW i3, Tesla Model S, and others. However hybrids, such as the Chevy Volt, may race if they are able to run solely in electric mode (during racing).

Electric cars must meet the technical regulations relating to safety, and will probably need additional safety regulations as things come to light with racing experience.

Anyone interested can view the electric class rules for Pikes Peak in the 2014 rulebook:
http://www.ppihc.com/wp-content/uploads/2014_PPIHC_Rulebook.pdf
PPIHC rules have the two classes I suggest, but do not provide much classification information. They do have some specific safety rules for the electric class.

Please provide your thoughts on this new class. Thanks!
Jamie
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Re: New classes for electric cars

Postby walterclark » Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:29 pm

I am ready!

The older I get the better I was.
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Re: New classes for electric cars

Postby Kiwi » Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:23 pm

Ha ha! I'm thinking more along the lines of:



and
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Re: New classes for electric cars

Postby sachilles » Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:00 am

Andrew is ready as well.
I'd like to see this come to fruition.
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Re: New classes for electric cars

Postby DaveEstey » Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:42 pm

My only concern is the safety (mostly for the purpose built vehicles) of a vehicle in a crash both for the driver and rescuers in regards to battery packs and electric currents.

How does Pikes Peak handle it?
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Re: New classes for electric cars

Postby Kiwi » Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:24 pm

Pikes Peak have some specific safety rules for the cars in these two electric classes regarding batteries. For example, forced ventilation of the battery compartment, battery to motor wiring is fused, and external kill switch. I'm not sure how they train course workers, I remember hearing something about "rubber gloves" in 2012. See the link to the PPIHC 2014 rule book above.

Safety is something I would want an experienced electrical engineer to weigh in on, and also preferably people with direct experience of building or modifying electric cars. I have sources for both.

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Re: New classes for electric cars

Postby dsldubn » Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:06 pm

sounds cool, would love to see an electric car at the hillclimbs

I've helped build a couple electric car conversions, and driven both in some expedition type events that included a simple autocross and some tsd like stuff (alternative energy awareness kind of event). We had similar safety features to what Jamie mentioned...fans venting battery compartments, an extinguisher like hillclimb requirements, etc. The main safety item was a power disconnect that physically disconnected the power battery pack electrical connection from the motor controller. Ours was a cable actuated mechanism that yanked the huge anderson (or something like that) connector apart. We also were supposed to carry some sort of battery acid neutralizer...if I remember correctly anyway. It was over a decade ago.

They're not any more dangerous than gas cars, just different. Sure would be cool to see some race. My boss still has one of the conversion cars we did, always dreamed of upgrading the battery pack and trying to race it...but it'll rot in a field forever.
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Re: New classes for electric cars

Postby Mopar 151w2 » Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:22 am

I would reccomend contact with Ken Wells, for sure. He tried to help us out with this backalong, we wuz a little :shock: behind his event horizon...... But he knows about battery fires in electric race cars, and the other 999,999 in the control group just said "Hunh! Whuzzat?"
I know some guys that did engineering for the Sunrise (Solectria) electric car - I used to work for Paul and Vasillios at a subsequent outfit - Diaphorm, now Cyberdyne Pro Police - but I dunno, me. Paul pretty much told me that you did'nt want to do anything the way Solectria did it, which may explain why they made 1 (one) of the electric bus, the electric torpedo, examples of each iteration of Sunrise, .......
And this stuff is at least big jet airplane science, for sure - ask Boeing about the Nightmareliner.....
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Re: New classes for electric cars

Postby sachilles » Fri Dec 27, 2013 10:16 am

My thought is to have three classes that fall inline with the gas cars.
Prepared electric PE
Street prepared electric SPE
Unprepared electric UE

This way all the non electric drive components stay the same within the rules.
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Re: New classes for electric cars

Postby Kiwi » Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:20 am

Good idea. Makes sense to me. Though I now prefer the class names:
    Unlimited
    Prepared Electric
    Street Prepared Electric
    Street Electric
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