ABB e-motion land speed record attempt abandoned

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May 15, 2005 ABB e=motion has abandoned its attempt to break the world electric land speed record following an aborted attempt in Nevada last week. The e=motion team has not yet announced whether it will attempt to break the record in the future. After a successful trial run on an isolated highway outside of Wendover, Nevada on May 4, the car - which is powered by an ABB variable speed drive and two 50 hp ABB motors - experienced a series of false starts. Technical problems arose in the car’s control circuits, preventing it from starting. A detailed investigation to find the exact nature of the fault will be done when ABB e=motion returns to the U.K.

"It’s been one of the most difficult weeks that we’ve had," said designer, Colin Fallows. He said there is a problem affecting the car’s throttle control system, but at this point, "we’re not quite sure what it is". Fallows said the next step is to bring the car back into the workshop and find out what went wrong.

Driver, Mark Newby, said: "To get so close, and yet be so far, is frustrating for us all, for sure." Newby said the e=motion team has been working flat out on this attempt for months, and now needs to regroup back in the U.K. Newby said despite the setback, there is no doubt in his mind the car can and someday will do what its makers say it can do. It’s safe, it’s fast, and it’s a "real good piece of kit. It’s just that sometimes in motorsport - in any sport - you get circumstances that conspire against you!"

"Projects like this one are a direct reflection of our pioneering spirit," said Steve Ruddell, the manager of ABB drives and motors in the U.K. "Win or lose, it is exciting for us to be involved with people like Colin and Mark who are pushing the envelope of technology."

The 32-foot (10 meter) long, mustard-yellow ABB e=motion car was trying to beat the current official FIA (Fédération Internationale d’Automobile) electric land speed record of 245 mph (394 kph) and become the first-ever electrically powered vehicle to break the 300 mph (483 kph) barrier,under FIA rules.

An extensive article on the history of the electric land speed record can be found here.

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