POPULAR SCIENCE MAGAZINE - November 2004

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'BREAKING RECORDS - RACING FOR THE ENVIRONMENT'

 

Gentlemen, charge your batteries: four vehicle that won't need gas to top 300 mph

 

This fall, Ohio State University's Buckeye Bullet is gunning for an electric vehicle land speed record on the salt flats of Bonneville, Utah, the site of the world's premier speed events.  The Buckeye Bullet's attempt highlights the leaner, cleaner side of racing, featuring needle shaped, battery powered vehicles sprinting at 250 plus mph.

 

Students aren't the only ones chasing green speed.  Other teams include garage savvy environmentalists, a former drag racer and a recovered quadriplegic who drives for charity, not just records.  And several racers are backed by energy companies in search of better battery technology.  But they all have one thing in common: a desire to top 300 mph.

 

In august the Bullet became the first electric vehicle to surpass this feat in a timed mile, clocking in at 308.317 mph, beating the national electric land speed record of 256.894 mph - unofficially, anyway.  A record breaking run is the average of two timed sprints, and a faulty rear differential prevented the team from racing again.  "There's definitely the feeling of unfinished business," says Buckeye driver Roger Schroer.  "We know the Bullet is capable; we just have to do it."  While the Bullet may be on top for now, it does have challengers.  Here's a closer look at four potential record setters. - ADAM VOILAND

 

 

 

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NEWS


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Exploration: Probing Lake Vostok
Robotics: How Dextre could fix Hubble
Natural Disasters : Tsunami risk revived


STORIES


Sorry, Your Vote Has Been: Lost, Hacked, Miscast, Recorded Twice
Electronic voting machines create new Election Day woes.
By Annalee Newitz

The New Right Stuff
Scaled Composites and SpaceShipOne foster a new generation of astronauts.
By Eric Adams

The Worst Jobs in Science: The Sequel
Monitoring dumps, extracting worms, lobbying politicians: science's ugly side.
By William Speed Weed

Segway's Next Thingamajig
A high-speed all-terrain vehicle that rides on two or four wheels.
By Jenny Everett

Every Step You Take . . . Every Move You Make . . . My GPS Unit Will Be Watching You
The golden age of gadgetry is a boon for tech-savvy stalkers.
By Michael Rosenwald

 

 

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