Electric vehicles have proven a hard sell in America, as limited range and high prices make EVs simply impractical for most middle-class consumers. But fans of EVs are not simply limited to new car buyers, as a small legion of dedicated enthusiasts have crafted their own EVs with their own time and money. While most of these projects are good for little more than puttering around town, there are serious racers such as Britain’s Johnny Smith mixed in with these EV enthusiasts.
Smith, who converted a tiny Enfield electric runabout into a 500 horsepower drag car dubbed the Flux Capacitor, reached out to let us know that his engineless car had recently a 10.51 at 129 mph. Elon Musk, eat your heart out.
When we last wrote about Smith’s electric dragster, it had just zipped down the 1/4-mile drag strip of Santa Pod Raceway in 12.62 seconds at 101 mph. That’s solid numbers for a car built without an instruction pamphlet using off-the-shelf motors and military-grade lithium-ion batteries. Smith, a former host of the U.K.’s Fifth Gear car program, found ways to get even more power out of the Capacitor.
“Much like a fuel and piston car is mapped via laptop, we can laptop tune an EV hot rod for amps (torque) and volts (top speed),” Smith tells us. “The motors have limiters on, which we can push, and then there is the usual suspension (four link, Ford 9-inch rear) set-up. There’s no gearbox on the Enfield Flux Capacitor, so the Ford 9-inch rear end ratios are all we can change, really.”
According to Smith, Flux Capacitor is already Europe’s “quickest street legal EV”, and he has just added an extra battery pack that brings the voltage from 302v to an even 400v. Smith says that he and his team are going for a world record this season, hoping to beat the current quickest street EV record of 10.25 held by John Wayland’s ‘White Zombie’ Datsun.
The race is on to be the first street-legal EV in the single digits, and Johnny Smith looks like he might get there first.