A&M EDM, precision engineering specialists in Smethwick, have successfully converted a powerboat to electric power to attempt a speed record at the Coniston Powerboat Records Week 30th October to 3rd November 2023.
A&M are collaborating with TechTeam Racing, led by pilot Ted Walsh and his brother James Walsh, who with A&M as a specialist engine development consultant. Ted’s Formula 2 racing catamaran is the 'Lalotai Express,' the name inspired by the Disney classic Moana.
Ted is the lead pilot for speed legend Donald Campbell’s Bluebird K7, a jet engine hydroplane in which Campbell set seven world water speed records between 1955 and 1967 before he died crashing on Coniston Water. The K7 was recovered and restored, however due to a legal dispute it’s not currently possible to operate the K7.
A&M’s objective was to convert a high emission two stroke system to electric power, the business designed and manufactured a bolt-on adapter complete with water cooling distribution for the electric motor from a Nissan Leaf and associated electronics. This converts the old two stroke petrol technology into carbon friendly electric. Ted’s target is to beat the existing speed record of 88 mph, increasing it to over 100 mph.
Ted Walsh said: “We were working on the various technologies needed for an effective record attempt but struggling to deliver the mechanical components in anything but a 'Heath Robinson' form. A&M came on board, understood the requirements and designed and manufactured a world class, bespoke adaptor with many complex parts."
A&M’s conversion adapter has enabled the Nissan Leaf motor to be mounted on the existing racing outboard mid-section and gearcase. A&M designed and manufactured the bespoke aluminium housings and gears, utilising their 5-axis machining and Wire EDM capabilities.
Mark Wingfield, Managing Director of A&M EDM said: “We’re proud to support this Coniston record breaking attempt by applying our engineering skills to manufacture a successful conversion to an electric motor.”