The Project

A team of enthusiasts, we are set to build a genuinely thrilling, affordable racing machine. Two-stroke engine karts are seriously fun to drive, but also a bit dirty, noisy, quite unreliable and very expensive to maintain. We want to challenge the status quo with a clean, high-tech proposition. To validate our solution, we plan to beat the world record for 0-60 mph acceleration. Lots of fun, track performance, safety, reliability and durability are all goals of similar importance!

Why electric?

In one word: Torque Torque Torque!
Electric motors have the highest torque and power density, best efficiency and reliabilty in racing. Well, they also need bulky batteries and lots of complex electronics.

We want to remove those barriers and enable guilt free, adrenaline rushing rides!
Dig deeper

The plan

On our first prototype we identified battery power, cooling, and charging as the main bottlenecks. We have planned huge improvements to both systems for the summer.

We'll keep iterating our improvements until we reach peak power of around 100kW (134hp), while keeping the kart weight under 100kg!
The secret plan

The team

Team members have a wealth of experience in many related fields, surpassed only by their enthusiasm for the project:

from welding, machining, CAD design, electronics, software and web engineering, to business management and high stakes negotiation, to ... err, abstract mathematics!
Meet the team


327h

of design

459

nuts and bolts

162

coffee mugs

90Nm

of torque

64

battery cells

1st

generation

My Journey

After a couple of months of preparation, I have reincarnated during the first days of November 2015. Yes, I have to confess, in my previous life I was a two-stroke engine racing kart. Since then, I've been on the surgery table many times, concentrated into four short periods when the team united. It has culminated recently with a real ride on the open track!

Here is my story, in chronological order.

  • November 2015

    Born again!

    I have travelled several hundreds kilometers to reach my new home. Upon arrival, I've been locked in a dark place for a while. Later, my two-stroke heart has been ripped out and I am waiting in an undefined state. Of course I’m petrified, but somehow I feel my abductors are striving to offer me a happy new life.

    The surgery room is ready and strange organs are laying on the floor and the tables around. Some have arrived from far away, some are hand made, while others are 3D printed. The team is working frantically but I’m still unsure why. [...]

    Just over one week since the beginning of this wonderful adventure, my wheels are turning again in an eerie effortless motion. The absence of the usual shivering emanating from my banging heart fills me with fear, at first, then with sheer joy! I’m not coughing smoke like a flameless dragon, as I used to.

    When the mud settled and my mind cleared, I have finally understood: I have reincarnated an Electric Dragonfly!

    Continue reading
  • April 2016

    Monitoring system & first doughnuts

    In the first few days, I was stripped down and given an ice cold bath, brrr! Brakes were replaced and some welding was needed to reinforce their support. Batteries were rebuilt for cell voltage balancing while charging. I've been gifted 3D printed orange magnet bracelets.

    Later, I was invited to move to a larger, magic home, Krautz Production. Here I met the robot that had previously built both the support of my motor and a chain sprocket. With Nistor's help, of course. Mircea, Răzvan, Nicu, Claudiu and Barbu contributed too.

    To be continued ...

  • July-August 2016

    Additional batteries & new electronics

    A longer stint for the team, in which they attempted what proved to be a too ambitious goal: motor controller cooling, electronics v2.0, new batteries, new software and a bank of capacitors in parallel with the battery packs. A new battery box to hold them all, a small army of sensors connected to the box via aviation plugs.

    Everything advanced nicely and there are many interesting details: there are three micro-controllers in a small UART network. The master collects raw data from the slaves and is precisely timing events like 18° wheel turns and finish line crossings. Then it packs everything and send it via USB to a Raspberry Pi 100 times a second.

    To be continued ...

  • October 2016

    Fine tune & racing track tests

    The unfinished work from the previous inning has been completed. Real time data is visible both on the steering wheel and, when at rest, in the second battery box. The former is of interest for the driver and the latter for the engineers. Telemetry data is also streamed live for everybody to enjoy in a web browser.

    The secret sauce, the software, needed careful seasoning. The sensors were calibrated. One failed battery cell had to be replaced. Tests on an indoor track nearby have revealed the batteries last longer than predicted, about 25 minutes versus 10-15 minutes forecasted. I have even tasted a prolonged drifting session in an underground parking lot.

    To be continued ...

Photos and videos

The Elements

Engineering

Design & manufacturing