Good news for environmentally oriented drivers with a need for speed. Setting a new lap record for an electric vehicle, Kleenspeed’s EV-X11 went around a 2.5-mile track in 1 minute and 35.99 seconds, giving it an average speed of 93 miles per hour during that run.

The car’s driver was impressed at the speed given the battery’s weight. “It’s pretty good,” he said. “The same cars we run with a gas engine, 1 liter gas engines, motorcycle engines, they are about 400 pounds lighter than this one so we’re at a disadvantage with the weight, but we’re only about 3 to 4 seconds slower on your average comparable car to this.”

Electric racecars face another, related problem that doesn’t plague their conventional counterparts: range. Because the car needs lighter batteries to go fast, that means they also can go shorter distances. At full speed, the EV-X11 can only go 20 miles, or eight laps in Sonoma, before running out of juice.

But Kleenspeed founder, President and CEO Timothy Collins is optimistic on that front. “Next year nine laps, the year after ten or eleven laps,” he said, “Every year the energy density of the lithium cells will be greater.”

Mainstream car publication Motor Authority is getting excited about electric racing in its own right: “We’re no hydrocarbon snobs, and when electric racing goes mainstream, we’ll be just as inclined to watch, cover and perhaps participate in it.”

Collins is also using the EV-X11 to try out electric vehicle technology that will eventually be transferable to consumer electric cars. Kleenspeed is developing a test version of a passenger car that will be out in October. It will incorporate all of the company’s latest technology and come with a 150-mile battery pack.

Main photo credit: Kleenspeed