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pointofdeparture
pointofdeparture PowerDork
3/1/19 3:41 p.m.

For those of us who are wondering how EVs can translate into grassroots racing, the 24 Hours of Lemons has more or less announced they are going to try and figure it out.

And get this - if you can win overall in an EV (meaning you beat the ICE classes), you win $50k in nickels!

“Because enthusiasts need to know that EVs are a boon, not a threat. I was just in the shower and thinking about this, and thought, man, that’s a great encapsulation: People think they’re a threat, but they’re not. Someone needs to make them understand it’s a boon for enthusiasts all the way around.

They’re fast, you can get a car that drives as smooth as a Rolls-Royce for 30 grand with EVs! To segregate them out is ridiculous and a missed opportunity.”

  • Powertrain systems and energy storage don’t count toward the $500 cap.
  • Recharging is done in the same area as refueling.
  • Battery swapping is legal.
  • Special electric-car rules are now live: See Section 3.L of the Rulebook.
  • The first all-electric vehicle to win a Lemons race overall will be paid 1 million nickels—ie 50 grand cash, ie 5½ tons of money.

And here's the relevant rulebook section:

  • 3.L.1 Talk to Lemons HQ in Advance. For your EV car to be eligible, you must confer with Lemons HQ before starting fabrication or filing a race registration.
  • 3.L.2 EVs Present Unique and Additional Risks. Full-EV vehicles may expose you and others–including track and rescue personnel–to unique, unexpected, and/or unusual dangers of fire, electrocution, poisoning, increased risk of illness, and other extremely bad things. EVs should only be built, maintained, repaired, and/or operated by those with sufficient expertise to recognize and avoid these and all other EV-related hazards.
  • 3.L.2 Pikes Peak is Smarter Than Us. All full-EV vehicles must meet all PPIHC safety rules for electric cars. See PPIHC 2018 Rule Book, effective 1 November 2017, section 126.
  • 3.L.2 Electric Drive Components Exempt.
    • 3.L.2.a All EV-drive-system chargers, batteries, motors, controllers, connectors, and cables do not count toward the $500 price limit. (To inquire about price exemptions for other EV drive-system components and almost certainly be rejected, contact Lemons HQ.)
    • 3.L.2.b All mechanical components adapted from ICE vehicles for your build (examples include motor mounts, transmissions, differentials, driveshafts, and suspension components) do count toward the $500 price limit.
  • 3.L.3 Win Five and a Half Tons of Money. The first full-EV racecar to win a Lemons endurance race outright will receive a purse of one million nickels. Which is also $50,000. Which is also five and a half tons of money. Which will also arrive at your shop in a dump truck.

https://jalopnik.com/the-infamous-24-hours-of-lemons-introduces-a-new-full-e-1832995045

Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
3/1/19 3:47 p.m.

wow - I'd be REALLY interested in being on a team for this. I have a 'powertrain system' that would be perfect already in my garage to use for the cause. Who wants to join me?

pointofdeparture
pointofdeparture PowerDork
3/1/19 3:56 p.m.

In reply to Robbie :

I'm in Milwaukee which isn't too far away, and I love the idea, but this year is going to be tough for me financially...who knows though! I could probably find a way to chip in.

CrustyRedXpress
CrustyRedXpress New Reader
3/1/19 4:01 p.m.

Great idea. 

We've got to be close to somebody bringing a Nissan leaf drivetrain to the 2k challenge as well... 

java230
java230 UltraDork
3/1/19 4:08 p.m.

The battery swapping makes this actually doable IMO. 

RacetruckRon
RacetruckRon Reader
3/1/19 4:08 p.m.

*Starts searching Copart for Chevy Volt and Ford Cmax*

Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
3/1/19 4:14 p.m.
java230 said:

The battery swapping makes this actually doable IMO. 

well, that and being able to spend anything you want on drivetrain. I suspect some folks are buying a tesla right now to weld under a $300 toyota. 

T.J.
T.J. MegaDork
3/1/19 4:33 p.m.

When I read the thread title, first thing I thought was. "I bet it's all in nickels." Not disappointed.

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair MegaDork
3/1/19 4:35 p.m.

just need a pickup body with a big gas or diesel generator in the bed to keep the tesla rollerskate charged

MrSmokey
MrSmokey Reader
3/1/19 4:36 p.m.

Who’s gonna sit around waiting on a battery to charge????

pointofdeparture
pointofdeparture PowerDork
3/1/19 4:59 p.m.

In reply to MrSmokey :

  • Battery swapping is legal.
pimpm3
pimpm3 SuperDork
3/1/19 5:00 p.m.
AngryCorvair said:

just need a pickup body with a big gas or diesel generator in the bed to keep the tesla rollerskate charged

Wouldn't that make it a hybrid?

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
3/1/19 5:40 p.m.

Any of you lemons racers care to share some info? How long/far does a team usually go between stops? How long is a pit stop? Is there a typical recipe for a car that competes for the overall?

pointofdeparture
pointofdeparture PowerDork
3/1/19 5:49 p.m.
californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia HalfDork
3/1/19 6:50 p.m.

Ok , my crazy idea.....

Replaceable rear sections that have the battery pack , 

Pull into the pits , unplug back of car , unbolt or pull a few pins to  replace the rear of the car, 

Bolt it back up , plug back together and drive away....

Or just pull a battery pack trailer....

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
3/1/19 7:07 p.m.

I would say take that impreza for sale on here as a starting point. Use a leaf motor/inverter front and rear so neither has to be pushed more than 100hp or so for ease of cooling and reasonable acceleration. Use of dual motor awd has the benefit of allowing semi aggressive regen and not having really odd braking bias. The question is going to be how much battery you need. There should be plenty of room in the back seat and passenger seat areas. Appropriate firewalls and sliding mounts for hot swapping. Lots of weight reduction to avoid being a fat slug. Same plan could be completed with an audi of some sort.

Dave M
Dave M Reader
3/1/19 7:09 p.m.

$500 car*

* Except for the $30,000 in motors and batteries**

** And the $5,000 in safety equipment

 

I love EVs. I own an EV. But this kind of crazy. Also awesome! But crazy.

dculberson
dculberson UltimaDork
3/1/19 10:52 p.m.

Given how tight Lemons racing is, and how competitive it is, I have no doubt that it will be tough to take the overall without spending every penny of that $50k on the car. And you'll need some ringer drivers, too.

Pit stops are usually under 4 minutes for the winning teams. They usually do long stints, as in 2.5 hours plus. And races are often won or lost on the basis of one lap, even after 16 hours of racing. You can not go easy on the car and you can not do long pit stops and still win it, it's just not possible. This is a serious challenge and will take serious money, time, engineering skill, driving, and an enormous dose of luck. I am excited to see how many people attempt it and what they come up with.

I'm thinking, Leaf motor (or two) on a light platform, fast swappable Volt batteries with at least 2 hours on track range, and at least 4 complete sets of batteries, charging with a fast charger. I have no idea if it's possible to get 2 hours of track time with an EV no matter what engineering you throw at it, though. It's tough to get 2 hour stints in some gas cars.

dculberson
dculberson UltimaDork
3/1/19 10:56 p.m.

To drive home how tight the racing is: one lap is typically around 2 minutes depending on the track, and most races have more than one car within a 1 lap spread at the end. So a single slow pit stop can be the difference between winning and impossible to win. And there's no way you're going out there and lapping so much faster than the gas cars that it won't apply to you, so every pit stop needs to be perfect, and you have no leeway for mechanical issues. It's gonna take a few races to get it dialed in before you can really compete.

sergio
sergio Reader
3/1/19 11:16 p.m.

Someone will have to MacGyver the E36 M3 out of the car to win. Doing a battery swap in the time that a gas stop takes will require awesome quick disconnects and dollies to roll the batteries. If I remember right some of our LeMons races were 14 hrs and about 800 miles.  9 hours on Saturday and the rest Sunday. Plenty of time Saturday night to charge the batteries. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for an EV win. 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Digital Experience Director
3/2/19 5:59 a.m.

Oof, that’s going to be tough. The worst possible conditions for EV range coupled with a weight limit that will make carrying enough energy incredibly difficult (Lemons is 4000 lbs if I remember correctly). 

Regarding battery changes: smart strategy in my opinion would be to abuse the definition of battery. Battery clearly doesn’t mean just the chemicals and metals reacting... it includes the container, the connections between cells, the controllers built into modern packs, the cooling system built in, etc. 

So, to make swapping packs take under 4 minutes, we need to drastically fudge the definition of battery. Think two smart cars or saturns or something like that. Car comes in, body panels with numbers and transponder are put onto the next car (oops, I meant battery) with a driver already belted in, new car goes out on track while the other is charged. 

sleepyhead
sleepyhead Mod Squad
3/2/19 6:30 a.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

I think one challenge to that approach would be the rule that basically only the “EV” parts, whereas the body/wheels/transmission are in budget... and I think they might balk at having to ‘tech in two cages?  Then again, you did say Saturn... and I’m sure it’d be pretty easy to argue that you could pick up a fleet of 4 of those for under $500, and safety gear is budget exempt....

hrmmm

The more I think about your comment, the more I’m impressed at how much you’ve internalized the “racing is about creatively cheating up to the point where you will obviously get caught”

Patrick
Patrick MegaDork
3/2/19 7:12 a.m.
Tom Suddard said:

Oof, that’s going to be tough. The worst possible conditions for EV range coupled with a weight limit that will make carrying enough energy incredibly difficult (Lemons is 4000 lbs if I remember correctly). 

Regarding battery changes: smart strategy in my opinion would be to abuse the definition of battery. Battery clearly doesn’t mean just the chemicals and metals reacting... it includes the container, the connections between cells, the controllers built into modern packs, the cooling system built in, etc. 

So, to make swapping packs take under 4 minutes, we need to drastically fudge the definition of battery. Think two smart cars or saturns or something like that. Car comes in, body panels with numbers and transponder are put onto the next car (oops, I meant battery) with a driver already belted in, new car goes out on track while the other is charged. 

We were discussing this at dinner last night.  Complete battery pack assembly riding shotgun on a rack that slides out the passenger door.  Stop, slide out, 2 plugs and some hold downs, one battery rack off and plugged in while another is popped into the car.  Also discussed was the importance of doing one of the two day broken up events and not the straight 24 hours.  

You’re definitely not showing up with 10k into an EV and going to take home the 50k

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
3/2/19 9:00 a.m.

Before getting too far, the #1 calculation is to estimate how much energy will be used over an entire race.  Once you know then you can figure out how many batteries you will need.  THEN you can come up with a package to change those batteries.

The good thing about doing that calculation is that you can target what track uses the least amount of energy to race on, and focus 100% on that venue.

You'll also know how many battery sets you need based on charging rates given the infrastructure.

MrChaos
MrChaos Dork
3/2/19 9:07 a.m.
alfadriver said:

Before getting too far, the #1 calculation is to estimate how much energy will be used over an entire race.  Once you know then you can figure out how many batteries you will need.  THEN you can come up with a package to change those batteries.

The good thing about doing that calculation is that you can target what track uses the least amount of energy to race on, and focus 100% on that venue.

You'll also know how many battery sets you need based on charging rates given the infrastructure.

so what you are saying is somebody needs to take a fully charged $5k leaf to each track and see how many laps you get before you run out of juice.

 

Sonds like a good GRM article.

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