River Raiders Win
Rod, Jamie and Wayne win the open (C class) race and Yuassa class in Roadbot 3 to take the 2012 ITC Global EV Challenge trophy.
Roadbot 3 was consistently the fastest car on the track, even lapping it’s stablemate Roadbot 4. Roadbot 3 had a big efficiency advantage over the 4 wheel car so we could travel a lot faster for the average 10 amp power we were targeting. In the end Roadbot 3 had used only about 80% of its battery capacity, so we could have pushed a lot harder.
Does this prove 4 wheel cars are less efficient than 3 wheel cars? While the cars had identical bodies, batteries, motor and controllers, we feel that there were some drive train losses in the Roadbot 4 that could be eliminated and we could increase the efficiency to get a lot closer to Roadbot 3, although with the extra wind and tyre drag of the fourth wheel and the extra weight of the fourth wheel, axels and diff, it will never be as efficient. On a tight circuit the improved handling cornering might be able to make up for reduced efficiency, but for efficiency races, the question is…. ”Confirmed”
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Test driving the new car for the first time. Brakes fail at the end of the video but no damage fortunately and easily fixed with improved clamp design in the brake balance bok
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The first road test was passed on the gravel around the sheds. The ground clearance didn’t suit the gravel, but it was enough to demonstrate everything is working as designed.
A test on the concrete floor of the shed proved that the steering geometry was working well after being adjusted to increase the ackerman angle after there was some scrubbing with the first attempt.
The car body has now had a coat of primer and is ready for its first real test on the skid pan at the RAC driver training centre in Perth later this month.
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The bottom half of the body is laid up in the mould. Sorry no action shots, its all hands on deck applying the resin, wetting out the glass and finishing the surface when we are doing the layup.
Adding a head and wheel shroud and some final sanding will bring the plug close to completion.
The body shape is based on the profile of the driver in a lay back seating position. The lay back position minimises the frontal area and the shape is based on an aerodynamic “cloak” over the driver. The top part of the body is deliberately wider than the bottom allowing extra width to accommodate the drivers shoulders and arms.
The wheels are on and ready to test the steering geometry as soon as we have tyres. Have been looking at some from the uk where it seems that folding bikes for road use with smaller wheels are more popular. Maybe this was due to influence of the Molten bike. Will try and get some locally first to save time.
Not too much more to get a rolling chassis so we can test the layout, driving position and balance. The next challenge and probably the most time consuming is converting the sketches and models of the body into the real deal. We have talked about using fiberglass, blow molded polycarbonate, vacuum formed plastic and a couple of other ideas. Anyway the first step is a solid full size plug or body form. Needs to be something readily formable and fairly sturdy. I have my eye on an old log that should be big enough. Might have to take to it with a chainsaw.