Nowhere is the silence of electric vehicles more apparent than at the dragstrip. When Top Fuel cars regularly hit 150 decibels and shake your body to its core, their electric equivalents sail down the strip with an eerie silence.

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They're not quite as quick as 8,000-horsepower Top-Fuelers either, though Don 'Big Daddy' Garlits's new record proves they certainly aren't slow. According to Wired, Garlits and his electric dragster have just set a new 184.01 mph, 7.258-second quarter-mile at the Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida. That's a little short of the 200 mph pass Garlits was aiming for, but has still broken the previous record by 24.16 mph.

Not many electric vehicles can make supercars look slow--though Tesla's Model S gets close--but Garlits's dragster trumps them all with six 7.5-inch DC electric motors. Total output is 1,500 kilowatts--equivalent to about 2,000 horsepower. Juice is provided by four lithium-polymer battery packs, at 420 volts and 3,600 amps--and living your life a quarter mile at a time, there's no such thing as range anxiety...

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Garlits built up to full power over several test runs, turning in a 10.9, an 8.75, and on the fifth run, hitting 178.42 mph--before setting the record on his sixth. Most striking in Don's run is the noise of the tires--something completely drowned out during normal drag runs. With no ear-rupturing engine noise to signal the last few seconds before launch, it's enough to take you by surprise. For some, this lack of noise will forever devalue electric racing--but Garlits shows there's plenty of potential yet to explore in electric motor sport.


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