OSU Racing Team Sets New Land-Speed Record in Electric Vehicle

Eleven miles of pristine track – a dry, compact layer of salt – and clear, sunny weather produced the perfect setting for this year’s record-setting runs.

The Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3 (VBB-3) shattered the previous world record of 307.6 mph (495 kph), set by the Ohio State-Venturi team in 2010. The new world record is pending certification by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the worldwide motorsports governing body, in Category A Group VIII Class 8.

After three years of battling difficult weather conditions at the Wendover, Utah, Bonneville Salt Flats track, The Ohio State University’s Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3 student team and driver Roger Schroer rallied to push their electric streamline vehicle to a world record two-way average top of 341.4 miles per hour (549.4 kilometers per hour) on Monday, Sept. 19, 2016.

The record-setting car is propelled by two custom electric motors developed by Venturi Automobiles, and is powered by over two megawatts of lithium ion batteries produced by A123 Systems. The vehicle was piloted by Roger Schroer, veteran team driver from the Ohio State affiliated Transportation Research Center, the nation’s leading independent automotive proving ground and vehicle testing organization in East Liberty, Ohio.

The team’s faculty advisor and Center for Automotive Research Director Giorgio Rizzoni said the VBB-3 boasts significant advances in power electronic systems and automated transmission. “The progress made this year is a very important step in the quest to reach the 400 miles per hour goal,” said Rizzoni. “The support of Venturi and of numerous other industry partners is recognition of this program’s value in producing the next generation of engineers. As always, team members have a bright future in the automotive industry.”

The Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3 is the latest iteration in a series of electric racing vehicles built at Ohio State’s Center for Automotive Research, which has a 22 year history of electric racing. In 2004, Buckeye Bullet 1, which ran on nickel metal hydride batteries, set a national land speed record with an average time of 315 mph (506.9 kph). Venturi Buckeye Bullet 2, the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell-powered land speed electric vehicle, set the international record of 303 mph (487.6 kph) in 2009.