Ohio State's Record-holding Venturi Buckeye Bullet Team Debuts Newest Electric Supercar at Bonneville Salt Flats

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In just a few days, a team of students and faculty from The Ohio State University will be on Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats to race its latest streamline electric vehicle, the Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3 (VBB-3).

In just a few days, a team of students and faculty from The Ohio State University will be on Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats to race its latest streamline electric vehicle, the Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3 (VBB-3). Currently holding the record for world’s fastest electric vehicle, the team aims to eclipse its own record of 307.6 miles per hour (495 kilometers per hour) set in 2010.

Although the planned debut of the VBB-3 will was slated for Speedweek, August 9-15 in Wendover, Utah, rain forced the cancellation of the 100th anniversary racing event sanctioned by Southern California Timing Association. Despite the cancellation, the VBB-3 team has remained on site and has been able to complete safety inspections and system tests on the vehicle.

The electric streamliner has been designed and built by undergraduate and graduate students over the past four years at the university’s Center for Automotive Research in partnership with Monaco-based electric vehicle manufacturer, Venturi Automobiles. It is propelled by two custom electric motors developed in conjunction with Venturi Automobiles, and is powered by nearly three megawatts of lithium ion batteries produced by A123 Systems.

“After years of developing the vehicle and simulating the systems in computer based design, it is quite exciting to finally get to roll up our sleeves and get to work building and racing the vehicle,” says team leader David Cooke.

Weather permitting, this week’s inspections and system tests will be followed by four days of international record attempts—August 18-21—to be certified by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile. More stringent than the Speedweek competition, these international events require vehicles to complete two runs of the course in opposite directions, while only allowing one hour to service the vehicle and recharge the batteries.

“This highly motivated, highly talented student team works endless hours throughout the year to prepare for the racing events,” says Cooke. “It is finally time to get the car to the salt flats and begin to test it.”

The VBB-3 will be piloted by Roger Schroer, veteran team driver from the Transportation Research Center, an automotive proving ground in East Liberty, Ohio.

The team has set numerous speed records during the past decade. In 2004 Buckeye Bullet 1, which ran on nickel metal hydride batteries, set a national land speed record with an average time of 315 miles per hour (506.9 kilometers per hour). Venturi Buckeye Bullet 2, the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell-powered land speed electric vehicle, set the international record of 303 miles per hour (487.6 kilometers per hour) in 2009. Then in 2010, Venturi Buckeye Bullet 2.5 set the record for world’s fastest electric vehicle at 307.6 miles per hour (495 kilometers per hour), powered by lithium ion batteries.

About Venturi Buckeye Bullet team
The mission of the Buckeye Bullet team is to provide unique engineering challenges for students. The team strives to provide valuable, hands-on experience, creating some of the best young engineers in the world. The goal is to promote and represent sponsors professionally and with integrity, aiming to bring together great minds and new technologies to overcome the most difficult challenges. This student team pushes the envelope of electric vehicle technology and in so doing hope to change public perception of electric vehicles. Mission: prove that green technologies of the future will be both fun to drive and fast! More: go.osu.edu/VBBullet. Follow the team on Twitter at @OSUCtrAutoRsrch and using #VBB3.

About Venturi Automobiles
Venturi Automobiles was founded in 1984 in France as a sports car manufacturer. Purchased in 2001 by Gildo Pallanca Pastor, it focuses on innovation in the field of electric vehicles by harnessing the most advanced technological solutions in this area. Venturi expertise extends from urban cars to high-performance vehicles.

About The Ohio State University
The Ohio State University is a dynamic community of diverse resources, where opportunity thrives and where individuals transform themselves and the world. Founded in 1870, Ohio State is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 63,000 students (including 57,000 in Columbus), the Wexner Medical Center, 14 colleges, 80 centers and 175 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences and the professions.

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Holly Henley
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