Electric car racing already takes place on special tracks (Image source)
It’s well know this blog thinks science tits are are fuckwits. Brian Cox and Dara O Briain are our favourite whipping boys, followed by Richard Dawkins, Ben Goldacre and that idiot who is always telling us to eat only cabbage smoothies.
In the USA they have their own idiots of course, one is Bill Nye the Science Guy (who is actually not a scientists but an engineer but gets upset when people point out there is a difference (which shows how thick he is) and a bloke called Neil de Grasse Tyson (or maybe de Grasse refers to what he smokes a lot of). These two anti – lminaries have taken it upon themselves to call on NASCAR (the US equivalent of Formula One) to switch to elected car racing, ……………… wait for it ………………….. to save the planet.
Only a scientist could think people would pay money to see guys racing pimped up mobility scooters.
Do scientists like Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye realize they are making fools of themselves when they delve into subjects they know little or nothing about?
Take this blog post by Nye on getting NASCAR to convert their race cars to electric power. I’m no gearhead but even I can see Nye’s ignorance when he describes the difference between a NASCAR vehicle using fossil fuels and the Tesla electric car:
Consider the following: a typical NASCAR racecar produces up to 540 ft-lbs (730 Newton-metres) of torque. The Tesla Model-S (sedan), right out of the showroom, produces 713 ft-lbs (970 N-m). A NASCAR vehicle can get up to 850 horsepower (hp) with the car and driver weighing about 3,600 lbs (that’s 630 kilowatts and 1,650 kg). The Tesla produces ‘only’ 532 hp (400 kW), and with a car weighing an extra 1,000 lbs (450 kg). Looking at those last couple of numbers might make you think that the NASCAR vehicle is way more powerful than a high-end electric one. But note well, we are comparing a NASCAR car made to race with a true stock car (one a consumer can buy), albeit an electric one, that has not been refined to compete on racetracks. The gasoline-powered car is a product of a century of development. Just think what an electric carmaker, such as Tesla, could produce given, say, three years.
OK, Bill, let’s say 3 years. The Tesla would be lapped by the pace car before the flag was dropped. What do you suppose the acceleration curve of a Tesla would be compared to a NASCAR vehicle towards the end of a race when power is getting low yet the electric car still has that 100 pound battery pack to haul round while the petrol car is running almost empty and so is carrying no weight of fuel? And yet the fuel it has left, calculated carefully to be just enough to get it over the line, still produces as much power as what the car was burning on the first lap.
As soon as electric cars can put out 600hp constantly for a few hours, go 200+ mph for around a hundred miles miles they iy is reasonable to talk about letting them compete. If they could do that, we’d have already seen some racing team try it. If they could do that (without changing batteries every ten laps—how far do you think a reasonably weighted car will go at 180+ mph on a charge?), there would already be a market demand for more electric cars. We know the limitations of internal combustion and the benefits of electric, but electric just can’t handle long distance, long term speed and bad weather conditions just as they do not perform well in urban driving conditions on the road . Even the hybrid LMP1 prototypes (a special class) at the Le Mans endurance race only use electric with gas for a few seconds at a time.
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