Electric Car Project and racing in 1-5th scale

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Electric Car Project and racing in 1-5th scale

Postby revup » Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:47 am

There will be a lot of you out there that are aware of the 1-5 Electric TC car that ABC make. This car is also made for Carson as on-road and off-road but those versions are really play things. The 1-5 racecar I have here is now going through a complete metamorphosis and with the help of some amazing rubber from PMT (can’t say too much for commercial reasons) has really opened my eyes as to what an electric car can really do. I shall be racing this car in the UK this year but the whole reason behind it is that at some point two things will happen.

1. Environmental issues will dictate that gas cars are no longer welcome;

2. People will want to try out a totally different class of racing.

Either of these reasons may be valid ones that could come to the fore in the next few years so rather than let this style of racing evolve in different manners it would be best to set a benchmark now that everyone knows works and that they can come to knowing the cost already and rules quickly put in place.

Cost is always an issue in our Large Scale Sport and I am always amazed at someone who spends a shed load of money on the car and extras and then puts cheap servos in it.

As I said above, the 1-5 car has impressed me so much that I started thinking of the Formula side of things. However, I had to source and put in place all the things needed for this.

Not wanting to do things on the cheap I contacted Plettenberg and to cut a long story short they are providing me with a brush less motor that has a drive shaft the same size and to suit our gears, has cooling fins all round it and a fan blower at the end to aid cooling. A similar version of this motor holds the 1-4 water speed record of over 120mph (194 kph). The controller they are sending with it can handle 170 amps! It is also super smooth. Next the batteries. NiCad and NimHa batteries really cannot be considered due to the lack of stamina and the weight! No, going to the second generation Li-poly battery has to be the way to go and the ones to be used are six three cell packs each developing 64amps giving a total drawing total of 384 amps which should easily last 45 minutes (192 amps each parallel pack). Coming back to the motor, it is brush less and develops maximum torque at 800rpm with a flat torque curve all the way up the rev range to 18,000rpm and 9 bhp to boot!

So the motor, controller and batteries are all sorted. As this car is going to be very light we need to get the tyre situation resolved and once again back to my friends at PMT who are developing special rear tyres for this car. All this should be in place late April. However, the car arrived from RS5 yesterday and it is a dream. The RS5 F1 car has a weight of 4.8 kilos (no motor, pipe or fuel tank but with front cable brakes) Add the body shell and wing 0.7 kilo, the two servos, receiver and battery pack 0.6k The six Li-poly packs weigh in at 1.62 kilo and the motor/controller at 0.84 kilo. Not forgetting the four wheels and tyres at say 1 kilo gives us a grand weight total for this project car at 9.5 kilos for a 1-4 car!!!

Why the RS5? Well I had spent a lot of time on other cars measuring them etc and the monocoque carbon construction of the RS5 won out for a number of reasons. I had to say pass to the FG/ABC cars due to the amount of alloy used, which did make for a heavier car. Also the drive belt arrangement prevented any variation in weight distribution further back and I also felt as the belt drive system was using long belts there was a chance they could not cope with this powerful motor that also was the rear brake. The LB is a great car but again, thick alloy side pieces limiting the batteries being in the middle of the car and the gear drive system spanned the width of the car and once again prevented the weight distribution. OK some of you will say put the batteries in the side pods and yes that could be done but you are altering the stability of the car doing this and increasing roll. No, the RS5 one with the thin carbon sides also acted as protection for the batteries in the event of a crash. The transfer gears are not on a shaft across the back and thus allow for the batteries to be moved behind the motor. It just made things more flexible for this project. This is NOT to say other cars cannot be converted and I am sure if this class of racing takes off the other Manufacturers will make subtle changes in their designs.

So will it cost more than gas or not? Well yes and no is the answer. Consider this. How much does a race tuned motor (2 of them for most of you), special clutch, air box and expensive tuned pipe cost? No need to get the calculator out I can tell you that it is well into four figures. The electric spec I have just described above is about 200 Euros more expensive (and that is the best on the market) but the cost thereafter is a lot lower with no clutch to replace, fuel and oil to buy, engine to rebuild and so on. At the end of the season Plentenberg will take the motor back and service it for you ready for the following year. In real terms I do not see a lot of difference in cost.

The project is to make an electric Formula car a viable proposition and alternative and to this end Modelcargo and Joseph at RS5 are eager to see this work. If the car is more drivable and faster than a gas Formula car then the project has succeeded. Bear in mind this motor has so much torque it can pull a 17/44 right up to a 46/38 gear combo. No gas car can do this, which is a very big plus.

Now I am sure there are some of you out there who will be genuinely interested in the project and some because it is something different. I propose that I cover this project as a video for each stage. This can be sent to each of you (or downloaded) who register an interest to partake of the project. All I need to know that there are enough of you out there interested enough in a video project to warrant the time it will take me to do. So fingers at the ready and send me a blank email to harkinee@nildram.co.uk but it must have as the subject line ‘electric formula project’. I will open the spam checker to allow this subject line to be accepted.

I don’t mind being the ‘pathfinder’ once again in our sport if it brings enjoyment to others. The first video will be a close-up introduction to the RS5 F1 car and the points in detail and close-up that swayed the decision to use the car in the project.

If you want some close-up shots of the car go here http://www.modelcargo.nl/pictures.htm and note we will not be using the undertray featured in the pictures.
Last edited by revup on Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:27 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby Thomas Vennekens » Sat Apr 01, 2006 12:26 pm

make that plettenberg :P

what your estimated running time ?
ok i see 45 minutes
my guess it pulls away pretty esay from gaspowered cars
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Postby revup » Sat Apr 01, 2006 2:50 pm

The estimated time is a calculation on paper and does not take into account time at full power on a straight, gear ratio used or the way the car is driven. Real time estimations will have to wait until it is built and run in race conditions. Our National Series will allow me to run both the 1-5 and 1-4 electro cars with the gas ones but not score points so as to not upset the class and points the gas boys earn.
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Postby Taildraggerdave » Sat Apr 01, 2006 4:58 pm

I fly a lot of electric aircraft (as well as glow) and electrics are the future. You are absolutely right in choosing a brushless motor and Lipo batteries. What gets me is that the smaller cars (1/10 scale) still swear by brushed motors and nicads or nimh batteries. Time to step into the new millenium.

Consider the high cost of your series/parallel lipos to be the same as buying a ton of fuel at the beginning. Obviously, petrol is cheaper than glow fuel, but the idea is that you are buying all of your fuel at the beginning of the aircraft/cars life and you can factor the cost of the batteries over 300 or so charge cycles.

I had a chance to see one of the HARM electric cars run a few weeks back and it was really nice.
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electric cars

Postby daddio » Sat Apr 01, 2006 5:26 pm

But there's no NOISE :o :o :o :o :o :o :o

I have watched 10th scale electrics and motorbikes and without engine noise there is just no atmosphere (as the astronaut said)
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Postby Rob » Sun Apr 02, 2006 9:31 am

Wasn't it foolsday yesterday? :lol:
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Postby dragracer » Sun Apr 02, 2006 7:53 pm

Very interesting
but not that much of a weight loss against a full up RS5 anyway.

Never having an electric, I'm at a loss to give an opinion


I saw on TV a few weeks ago a Monaco based electric road sports car and it's 0-60mph time was incredible, as the motor goes to full power instantly

now it's just if you can get enough grip?, - traction control anyone.....:)

As there are 3 tracks in London and 2 are electric only, i'd be interested

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Postby Thomas Vennekens » Sun Apr 02, 2006 9:58 pm

are you using the bolido engine ?
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Postby Tommaso » Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:17 pm

Well Chris . it sounds absolutely exciting ......8 bhp on 9.5Kg when now we have maybe 6 bhp on 10 should put things in perspective .
I don't know anything about eletric engines , and the tought of our gas cars being banned makes me real sad , however if the alternative is faster and easier to mantain than now , why not!?

A video of this special one off eletric car will undoubtly help promoting eletric power.

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Postby PeterGrant » Mon Apr 03, 2006 2:51 pm

sounds good, keep us posted, but its not the same with out the sound and smell of an engine.

it would be like watching F1 with the sound turned down, but james allen spreading his crap still. Terrible.
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