White Lightning


Date Location Driver Vehicle Power Speed over
1 Km
Speed over
1 Mile
22 October of 1999

Bonneville Salt Flats USA

Pat Rummerfield






White Lightning is powered by two electric motors with controllers and a complex 420 volt battery pack consisting of 6,120 nickel-metal hydride, AA sized batteries. The two alternating current electric motors are controlled through sophisticated power electronics units, all of which fit neatly into a space that would typically be occupied by a V-8 engine and it's fuel system. The two 150-kilowatt rated motors provide roughly the equivalent of 400 horsepower.

Going faster and further than ever thought possible is the goal of Dempsey's World Record Associates (DWRA).  The official world record of 245.523 mph was set in October of 1999 at the Bonneville Salt Flats by driver Pat Rummerfield in DWRA's electric streamliner, White Lightning. This amazing streamliner also recently clocked an official one way speed of 254.229 mph during a practice run at the famous "Salt Flats". 

On each of the land speed record runs, the power pack were required to run full power for about 90 seconds as 20 intricate packs containing 6,120 batteries (each battery weighing 1/10th of a pound) push a powerful electric charge through the motors.  Team Orion of  Switzerland modified the batteries to permit them to be discharged simultaneously, thus creating the necessary power to accelerate quickly.

The motors and controllers were designed by AC Propulsion Inc. founder Alan Cocconi, who also helped design the original GM Impact electric vehicle, which evolved into the automaker's current EV-1 electric production car. 

Moltech Power Systems of Gainesville, FL ( 904-462-3911 ) built the rechargeable "Sub-C" size NiMH. power cells that drive the motors of White Lightning II.


SANTA ANA, CA – Pat Rummerfield, a 45-year old recovering quadriplegic, drove White Lightning, the electric streamliner, to an FIA World Record of 245.524 MPH October 22nd at Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats. The speedster, owned by Ed Dempsey of Santa Ana, CA, easily surpassed the existing record of 215 MPH set by Eric Lueben in 1997. “What a ride,” said Rummerfield, whose recovery from a life-threatening auto accident 25-years ago, has been just short of miraculous. “The car ran flawlessly. My thanks to Ed Dempsey and the crew for all of the hard work they performed to get the record.”

“We were confident that White Lightning and Pat Rummerfield would get the job done,” said Dempsey, owner of Dempsey’s World Record Associates.

“We are thrilled to get the FIA World Record and this performance demonstrates the tremendous potential for battery-powered vehicles. I want to thank Graybar Electric, Moltech Power Systems, Prolong International, ADT Automotive, AC Propulsion and Split Second Components for their support.” The streamliner was powered by 6,040 Moltech “C”-size power cells.