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Published on March 2nd, 2016 | by Tina Casey

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New Electric Corvette Breaks Speed Record + Hearts

March 2nd, 2016 by  


This new Corvette EV is not for sale — at least not yet — which accounts for the broken hearts, but you can still admire it from a distance. It’s the all-electric GXE prototype from Genovation Cars, based on a 2006 Z06, and it just broke a speed record at the Johnny Bohmer proving grounds down in Florida, which you space fans may recognize as the landing site for the NASA space shuttle.

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Who Is Johnny Bohmer & How Fast Is The Corvette EV?

Johnny Bohmer is the guy behind a 2006 Ford GT, aka BADD GT, which lays claim to being “the first street car in full street trim to break the 250 mph and 275 mph mark in the Standing Mile,” clocking in at 283.232 mph as certified by Guinness. The crew is now aiming for the 300 mark and, by the way, full street trim includes plates, insurance, sound system, and the AC running full blast.

So much for the gasmobile. According to Genovation, the GXE (short for Genovation eXtreme Electric) hit 186.8 mph on February 23, quite a bit higher than the previous record of 177 mph hit by a Finnish prototype, nailing down claim to the world record for Top Speed Street Legal Electric Car.

Here’s the GXE gliding down the runway at the proving ground:

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That was just the first day of testing so stay tuned for more.

As for taking it out on a spin around the neighborhood, go ahead and run all the errands you want. The battery range is an impressive 130 miles under “normal” driving conditions. That’s less than the original intent of 150 miles but room to spare when you’re dropping the kids off for play dates, running down to the corner store for a gallon of milk, and so forth.

Inside The Corvette EV

Our sister site Gas2.org took a look at the electric Corvette last summer when it was just a rumor swirling around. Here’s what Genovation had to say when the prototype was still being developed:

Several contributors to the GXE effort have helped design and build record-breaking electric vehicles. They include an MIT electrical engineer and a mechanical engineer from Cosworth.

“We are using state of the art inverters, batteries and electric motors that will produce in excess of 700-hp and 600 lb-ft of torque,” said Genovation CEO Andrew Saul. “We expect the car to achieve 0-60 mph in around three seconds and have a top speed of over 200 mph. And, most of the parts are designed and built in America.”

The GXE was built mainly in the US with an assist from Stafl Systems, Rinehart Motion Systems, EVDrive, AMRacing, Current Ways, Johnny Bohmer, and Tony’s Corvette Shop, among others.

Genovation doesn’t have much detail on its website but Rinehart is known for its inverters and, like the name says, EVDrive is an EV drivetrain specialist. We’re also guessing that Current Ways took care of the EV charging system.

You’re probably wondering what makes it go:

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We’ll have to do some poking around to get some details about the battery, but in the meantime, if you guessed lithium-ion, go run out and buy yourself a cigar. Here’s what Stafl Systems had to say about its contribution, the battery management system:

Stafl Systems was the primary electronics contractor for the world record setting vehicle. The company produced the vehicle control unit, battery management system and worked with a number of subcontractors to provide the other electronic components. In total, Stafl Systems had 19 circuit boards helping with everything from sensing the accelerator pedal position to controlling the electric powertrain to regulating the charge and discharge of the vehicle’s 44 kWh lithium ion batteries.

How To Get An EV From Genovation

Genovation hit the CleanTechnica radar back in 2013 when it partnered with the University of Maryland on a hybrid battery/ultracapacitor EV energy storage system that could weigh less than a battery alone while getting more range (a capacitor is a type of battery that charges and discharges rapidly). Here’s our observation back then:

We interrupt our all-Tesla-all-the-time programming for this special announcement: Genovation Cars, a company that all but dropped off the radar a couple of years ago, is partnering in a new hybrid EV battery research project that combines a high density battery pack with an ultracapacitor pack and a DC/DC converter based on silicon carbide.

The company has its sights set on manufacturing an EV it’s calling the G2 in partnership with Tata. While it’s not in production yet, the G2 is probably a little more attainable than the GXE:

The car weighs approximately 3500 pounds, has a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.2 and will reach 60 mph in under 7.5 seconds.  The Cd measure was made using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and will be confirmed using the University of Maryland’s wind tunnel.  Initial crash simulations show excellent results and we believe a 5 star rating in final design is very feasible.

The G2 will come in all-electric version and a plug-in hybrid system that uses a 3-cylinder gasoline engine as a range extender. Like the Volt, the G2 hybrid powertrain is electric, so you’ll be in electric drive whether you’re using the battery or the engine.

Nice — okay so not as nice as the GXE, but still nice:

Genovation EV

To ice the EV cake, Genovation has committed to a “core objective” of using recycled or sustainable materials where available, including tires made of natural rubber infused with orange peel.

No, really. Orange peel.

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All images (screenshots) via Genovation Cars.


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About the Author

specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.



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