In September BYU’s sleek electric streamliner whirred across Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats and into the record books. The historic run is the culmination of more than seven years of intense engineering on the part of the BYU Racing Team; more than 130 students contributed to the streamliner’s design and construction. The carbon-fiber-wrapped racer, which weighs less than 1,100 pounds, is powered by 880 lithium ion batteries pulled from DeWalt power tool battery packs.
The streamliner’s trip to the salt in 2010 ended in disappointment when the vehicle rolled over just short of setting the record (the professional driver was uninjured). In the wake of that setback, students (led by faculty mentor Perry W. Carter [BS ’73]) rallied and revamped the car for added stability and performance. In two runs, the experimental car’s average speed was 155 mph, setting the benchmark for its class; lightweight, electric streamliners are so unusual, there was no previous record. | Photography by Jaren S. Wilkey (BA ’01)