Rowan Horncastle05 April 2013

Fancy building your own EV racer?

Westfield and Birmingham City University have made the world’s first EV kit track car

Like Meccano? Love the Mercedes SLS E-Cell? Then why not combine your passions into a satisfying cocktail of skinned knuckles, frustration and anger by building the world's first electric kit car for the track?

All you need to do is buy the iRacer kit from Westfield and Birmingham City University for £13,999. For that you you get an aluminum frame, composite exterior paneling and all the other bits only James fully understands that help you turn and stop.

Unfortunately, you don't get the bit that makes you go - sourcing and financing the motor is all on you. You can choose from an old-school combustion engine, new-school hybrid or futuristic electric motor depending on how much money you have/what your sandals are made out of.

But it's the electro option that Westfield's pushing. The manufacturer suggests fitting two YASA-750 electric motors to drive the rear wheels. Sadly horsepower is limited to just 132 ponies, but the motors can deliver 550lb ft of torque (that's twice as much as an Ariel Atom V8) instantly.

As lithium-iron phosphate batteries aren't the lightest things in the world, the car is 180kg than the featherweight Atom. This means a top speed of 130-to-145 mph and a sub five-second 0-60 mph time. And weight isn't the only catch with electric motors. The iRacer can only be driven like a yob for 25 minutes before it needs re-juicing. Not one for Le Mans, then...

But before you race it you've got to build it. And as Jeremy, James and Richard discovered when they tried to build a kit car quicker than the Stig could race from England to Scotland, it's not that easy.

 

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