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ReRun: Revving Up The Buckeye Current for 2014 TT Zero

By EV World Video

In 2013, OSU's Buckeye Current electric motorcycle placed third in the demanding TT Zero race on the Isle of Man. Now the team is preparing for a rerun with a more powerful machine. EV World's Bill Moore interviews team members Brendan Kelly and Aaron Bonnell-Kangas.

Ohio State University in Columbus is the home of world's fastest electric vehicle, the Venturi Buckeye Bullet, a 31-feet long, two-ton streamliner powered by lithium-ion batteries. In 2012, version 2.5 set the FIA-sanctioned land speed record of 307.666 mph. Its successor, Version 3.0 attempted to break that record only to have the salt flats in Bonneville, Utah turn into a shallow lake after days of unprecedented monsoon rains. They'll be back in 2014 to try again.

But before they do, another OSU electric racing team will have taken to the track, this time on the verdant Isle of Man in the Irish Sea between Ireland and England. The Buckeye Current RW-2 is also powered by batteries, but it's a motorcycle whose mission is to win the TT Zero electric motorcycle race.

In 2013, the bike, built by the students assembled in the above photograph, placed third among the eight teams competing. The two top performing bikes entered by MotoCzysz (1st place @ 109.675 mph) and Shinden N/Mugen (2nd place @ 109.527 mph) came within a whisker of each other. The remaining six entrants, comprised mainly of university teams, including OSU, ran in the sub-100 mph range with Robert Barber on the RW-2 averaging 90.402 mph.

Admittedly, it's not going to be easy for the 2014 OSU team to gain a 20 mph improvement in speed to challenge last year's leaders, but both Brendan Kelly and Aaron Bonnell-Kangas, who are featured in the EV World Dialogues video below, certainly seem confident they can be competitive.

Unlike commercial hopeful MotoCzysz, which aspires to make a business out of selling its technology, or Honda-backed Mugen, both young men see their participation in the university's top-notched electric vehicle engineering program as an important engineering career stepping stone. Presumably, so do their fellow team members.

You can follow the team's progress on their web site.

VIDEO PART 1

VIDEO PART 2

2013 Team Members

From left to right in above photograph: Matt Herrmann, Julia Cline, Victor Brechbill, Aaron Bonnell-Kangas, Kyle Ginaven, Jenn Holt, Polina Brodsky, Mike Timko, Nick Chenoweth, Bill Tahlgott, Nathan Lord

Times Article Viewed: 6932
Originally published: 08 Apr 2014

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