Image: Electric car
Nick Chapman  /  ABB via AP file
An "electrical gremlin" forced a delay in the attempt to set a speed record.
updated 5/6/2005 2:25:36 PM ET 2005-05-06T18:25:36

A British team’s attempt to establish a new speed record for electric-powered vehicles was scrubbed Friday, the second day weather and technical problems foiled efforts.

The record attempt in the Nevada desert was scrapped because of a problem in the drive controller, the unit that controls the electric motor.

“It’s an electrical gremlin. It could be related to cold, damp temperatures in the Nevada desert,” team member Colin Fallows said.

“It’s just one of those things — never get involved in cars,” said the other team member, Mark Newby.

Newby is trying to eclipse the record for an electric car weighing more than 2,200 pounds (1,000 kilograms, or a metric ton) by using a vehicle with 52 batteries and no mechanical gears. The existing record is 245 mph (392 kilometers per hour), set by an American team in 1999.

They planned to ready the car for one last attempt at the record Saturday on a closed highway about 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of West Wendover.

Another group, racing street cars, was arriving for a race Sunday on the same closed highway, and the British team said it was running out of money to extend its stay.

Gusty wind and battery problems on Thursday delayed the first record-breaking attempt.

The car uses compact, industrial motors and drives made by Swiss engineering company ABB Ltd.

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