When we think of drag racing, we often think of loudly clacking engines and the smell of race gas permeating the air. There is a new breed of drag racer being bred though, and their cars are silent-but-quick. EV drag racers like Oliver Young are taking clean racing to new levels, and proving that electric cars don’t have to be slow and dull.
Gas 2.0 reports that over the weekend Oliver Young’s “Black Current” EV Beetle dragster was the first street-bodied EV to run the quarter mile in 9 seconds, an impressive feat for sure. Black Current first made waves over the summer when this unassuming 1960’s Beetle obliterated a Tesla Roadster on the drag strip. Since then we’ve heard little from Oliver and his brother Sam, though the pair have apparently been very busy. Like many EV drag racers, Young is a member of the National Electric Drag Racing Association, or NEDRA, who are working to make EV racing into a mainstream venue.
Ask anybody who has ever done serious drag racing, and they’ll tell you that getting into the 9-second range in the quarter mile requires some serious effort, both on the part of the racers and the vehicle. With Oliver behind the wheel though, Black Current was able to blitz down the 1,320 at the UK’s Santa Pod Raceway in 9.82 seconds at 133 mph, followed by a second run of 9.51 seconds at 135 mph, proof that this was no minor fluke. This is a big deal for EV racers, who have an uphill battle convincing the established drag racers that there’s a lot of performance potential in electric cars.
These two runs have also established Black Current as the first street-bodied all-electric dragster to reach the 9-second mark, as well as the fastest car of its kind. A “street-bodied” dragster is a vehicle that retains the production car’s body as opposed to going for a body-on-frame fiberglass fixture like that of the world’s fastest EV dragster, the Current Eliminator, which can run the same distance in around 7 seconds at almost 160 mph. Make no mistake though, Black Current is a full-on racing machine, albeit one that looks not unlike your average 34 horsepower Beetle. With at least 1,200 ft-lbs of torque on tap, and 100% of that torque available at 0 RPM, this EV Beetle ain’t your mama’s commuter.
Black Current appears to have beaten Team Haiyin’s Warp Factor II 1981 EV Camaro dragster to the 9-second milestone, which raced this weekend down in Florida (though an information blockade seems to be keeping the details of this event under wraps.) With more and more individuals and companies getting involved in EV drag racing, it is only a matter of time before these events become more and more mainstream. We’re on the verge of an EV racing revolution, and we plan on having a front row seat.