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Electric Barstool
Salt Flats -- World of Speed
September 15, 2007

We have all heard of Toyota's Prius gasoline-electric hybrid, and GM and Chrysler E85 (85% ethanol and 15% gasoline) flex fuel vehicles... The electric barstool represents a new generation of hybrid: The first vehicle to combine beverage alcohol with electric propulsion! This puts a whole new twist on asking for salt on your margarita glass! Could we have finally found Jimmy Buffet's lost shaker of salt?

No, this is no photoshop. No, it is not some special exhibition demo vehicle. This is a real, live Salt Flats racing class! Here are the rules.

This barstool went 48 miles per hour and set a new world record!

Note the speed controls in the upper right of the picture. Note the flame-embossed seat, racing stickers, and wheely bar show this is no lounge lizard but a serious racing machine.

Safety first! Note the rear disk brake, chain guard, wheely bar, and the solid rear axle. A locked differential like this adds to the vehicle's straight line stability. The electric motor is a truck starter. You could hear its overrun sprague clicking loudly when it was pushed -- this would allow the barstool to keep rolling freely in case the motor seized.

The box under the seat is the motor controller.

This is the bottom of the Optima truck starting battery. The cylinders hold long ribbons of lead, rolled up like a cinnamon roll. This gives a large area, and short diffusion distance between the plates, giving a very powerful battery. This heavy weight, down low in the chassis, also helps add stability.

These fairings are streamlining for the wheels. Adding these moves the electric barstool racer from the open wheel Lakester class to the covered wheel streamliner class.

Click here for a video of a run (17 Meg)
Push starts are legal under USFRA rules.

Click here for a video of another run (6 Meg)
The clicking sound is the starter sprague overrun.

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