Unless you live in one of the more northern states -- or spend a lot of time in snow-covered mountains -- the idea of driving on ice might fill you with a sense of foreboding doom. 

Especially if that ice happens to be covering a very large expanse of water. 

Enter former Automotive X-Prize entrants Team Race-About, who have just set the first ever land-speed record for driving an electric car on ice, reaching an astonishing 161.59mph.

Not content with setting a Nürburgring Electric Car Record of 8:43 in September last year, the Electric Race-About (E-RA) team from the Helsinki Metrololia University of Applied Sciences decided to tackle something a little closer to home. 

Just like other speed record attempts, the team was under tough scrutiny from officials from the Guinness World Records organization, who imposed the usual timing regulations for land speed record attempts. 

Covering the 1km course twice within the allocated 1-hour limit, the all-electric sports car’s average speed was calculated at 161.59mph, a little over 44 mph slower than the current gasoline-powered ice-driving record. 

Ice Record Electric Car

Ice Record Electric Car

Under ice-driving record regulations, the studded tires used had to be commercially-available and approved for road traffic use in the country where the record attempt took place. 

But because the attempt was the first of its kind involving an electric car, the Guinness World Record officials were unable to certify it as an Official Guinness World Record.

Having driven the Volvo C30 Electric car on a frozen lake in Northern Sweden last week, we have to admit that the extra weight and low center of gravity an electric car offers certainly helps both traction and handling. 

But while on the ice, we never went much above 30 mph. To drive at more than five times that speed on ice takes a lot of courage... and skill. 


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