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No underdog: The Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3

The Ohio State University’s Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3 (VBB-3) electric vehicle racing team is in Utah this month looking to break records, but this is no underdog story.

The team, made up of undergraduate and graduate engineering students from the Center for Automotive Research, aims to eclipse its own world record set in 2010 after reaching speeds of over 300 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

Now they are back in Utah, hoping to break their own record by hitting 400 mph during four days of international speed trials starting Tuesday. Results are certified by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile.

On July 31, administrators at the Transportation Research Center (TRC) in East Liberty let the team try out their new design on the high-speed track. It went well. The weather was about as perfect as it gets (see photos).

“We had a great day today," BB-3 Team Leader David Cooke said. "This is quite the mark in history for us. We’ve been doing electric vehicles at Ohio State for about 20 years, land-speed cars for over 10. This is the first time we have tested on the high-speed track here at TRC. This was a validation run up to 150 mph and we had great response from the vehicle, great performance, and the driver is really comfortable with how everything feels. So, we’ll continue to push the limits.”

TRC’s new president Mark-Tami Hotta said it was a privilege to help out.

“This has been quite a long history with Ohio State. In fact, we’re a part of Ohio State,” he said. “Anything we can do to help by leveraging the assets we have – the track and the research capabilities – we’d love to be a part of this.”

The VBB-3 is piloted by Roger Schroer, veteran TRC team driver, who remained a calm presence on the test track, as team members rushed around testing parts and dragging gear from one spot to another.

The BB-3 electric streamliner has been designed and built in partnership with Monaco-based electric vehicle manufacturer, Venturi Automobiles. It is propelled by two custom electric motors developed in conjunction with Venturi Automobiles, and is powered by nearly three megawatts of lithium ion batteries produced by A123 Systems.

About Venturi Buckeye Bullet team

The mission of the Buckeye Bullet team is to provide unique engineering challenges for students via the Center for Automotive Research. The team strives to provide valuable, hands-on experience, creating some of the best young engineers in the world. The goal is to promote and represent sponsors professionally and with integrity, aiming to bring together great minds and new technologies to overcome the most difficult challenges. This student team pushes the envelope of electric vehicle technology and in so doing hope to change public perception of electric vehicles. Mission: prove that green technologies of the future will be both fun to drive and fast. More: Follow the team on Twitter at @OSUCtrAutoRsrch and using #VBB3.

About ECE:

Since the late 1800s, The Ohio State University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) has grown from a handful of graduates to more than 10,000 alumni today. With 58 faculty members and 13 researchers, ECE innovations are impacting lives daily through the areas of analog and RF electronic circuits, communications/signal processing, computer and digital systems, computer vision/image processing, control systems, electromagnetics/remote sensing/microwaves, optics and photonics, medical technologies, nanotechnology/electronic materials, robotics/intelligent transportation, networking and sustainable energy as well as power systems.