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Welcome to the World of Electric Drag Racing

Written by Bryan Johannsen

Electric Drag RacingEver since people have been moving forward there have been those that want to move forward faster than anyone else. The invention of the wheel was probably more exciting to guys modifying their sandals for more traction than anyone else. What I'm saying here is that if it goes, people will race it and electric cars are no exception. Now your basic NEV is not going to turn any heads if you take it to your local quarter mile but here are a few that will. It's not quite top fuel yet but a lot of street car innovations start at the track and I'm sure electrics will be no different.

The White Zombie

This 1972 Datsun 1200 has been converted to an all electric drive train. Originally powered by 60 Advanced Glass Mat (AGM) lead acid batteries it has since been converted to lithium ion power using 880 nanophosphate cells. The owner, John "Plasma Boy" Wayland of Portland, lists the range of this electric monster at "at least a quarter mile". No over reaching factory claims here.

The White Zombie has held world records in both lead-acid and lithium-ion configurations. See it in action below.

The Killacycle

A lithium ion powered motorcycle, the Killacycle is currently the fastest electric powered vehicle of any type at the drag strip. Over 1200 lithium-ion nanophosphate cells (the same kind used in power tool batteries) push the Killacycle to 60 miles per hour in less than a second and give it over 500 horsepower. In Novemeber 2007 the Killacycle threw down a gauntlet with a quarter mile time of 7.824 seconds at 168 miles per hour.

Current Eliminator V

The 5th version of this "rail" type dragster, the Current Eliminator has been setting electric drag racing records since the first version appeared at the track in 1992. Their own website lists all details on the latest version as "not publicly released" but sources say that it is powered by lithium-titantate batteries from Altair Nanotechnologies. No horsepower figures are available but the Current Eliminator V holds the current record in it's class at 7.956 seconds at 159.85 miles per hour.

Electric dragsters are showing up at quarter and eighth mile strips all around the country and it even has a sanctioning body keeping track of classes and record runs. For more information about the sport visit the National Electric Drag Racing Association's (NEDRA) website.

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