Electric Vehicle Sports Racer
A look at the team taking the dream of the electric car onto the racetrack
"We are feeding it right now. It's hungry," says project manager and chief engineer of Electric Vehicle Sports Racer (EVSR) Charlie Greenhaus, referring to his electric racecar's appetite for a charge. Greenhaus, who founded EVSR, has spent over 25 years in motorsports—as a racer, director, and engineer—and simultaneously spearheads Independent Motorsports Group (aka IMG, a race series dedicated to camaraderie) and Entropy Racing (a full race service providing car rentals, instruction and servicing).
Today EVSR demands most of his and fellow Entropy driver and EVSR chief programmer Charles Turano's attention. The EVSR program, which consists of two fully electric sports racing cars, began this year and has already broken records after being the first full electric to complete the Mt. Washington Hillclimb. EVSR also holds the electric record at Summit Point, Thompson Speedway, Virginia International Raceway (VIR) and the infamous Lime Rock Park. (They are also the first team to field two electric cars against gas cars.) Greenhaus and Turano came up with the idea to make fuel alternative racecars to create a fully electric race series. "We want to have a 10-20 car field," says Turano.
The EVSR cars were developed and made in just three months, in a two-person shop in Pennsylvania. "I started looking at it from the technical perspective, what we needed to do to complete it," says Turano regarding the process. "What is the wiring going to be like in the car? How are we going to hook all these components up? What kinds of things we can do with the controllers? Charlie is really amazing with racecars. When we were building out the car, he was managing and arranging everything the entire time. Every time he checked the corner weights on the car, they were within a couple pounds of each other after each component was added and put in place. He came up with a bunch of tweaks to the suspension that make it ergonomically feasible," he says.
The cars have a light steel tube frame and a motor that turns out 160 horsepower (located in the back) and have two lithium battery packs tucked neatly on either side of the cockpit providing even weight distribution. The only telltale sign of the EVSR, is its almost stealth whine, which the team is in the process of changing. "The acceleration is so smooth that you don't have a power peak, so it comes on and stays on strong. There is no feeling of acceleration once the initial burst of power has started. So people were going into a corner way faster than they expected because the car kept accelerating. So what we want to give is some sort of auditory clue similar to what you are used to with a gas engine," says Turano. For their first sound machine, they are—somewhat humorously yet aptly—using a sample of the Jetson's car noise.
For more information on the cars and the engineering that goes into them, visit EVSR online.
Images by Katharine Erwin