Friday, August 27, 2010

BYU's electric streamliner hums quickly, quietly over Salt Flats

Faster than a speeding Corvette, more ecological than a locomotive and turning heads with a single run. Look! It’s Buy’s new electric racecar.

After practically six years of designing and building, BYU students watched their lightweight, electric car attain a top speed of 139 mph this month at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

In land speed racing jargon, the car is called a streamliner, meaning it has a long, slender shape and enclosed wheels to decrease air resistance. The shape, along with its lightweight carbon fiber body and 880 lithium ion batteries, helped the car attain its high speeds.

Very few people get the chance to work with carbon fiber projects, especially something this big,” said Kristin Heuer, a senior manufacturing engineering technology student who began her effort on the car as part of a capstone course. It’s not something you can do with just a couple people, so it taught me a lot about problem solving and working professionally as a team. I feel tremendously lucky.

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