We have, , and now get ready for electric rock crawling. At this years King of the Hammers, racing organization Ultra4 announced a spec EV class that will begin in July. Upon its launch, 11 of the most innovative Ultra4 teams will duke it out for electric supremacy.
Each team will be provided with an EV crate package from Dana and Hypercraft. The 250-kilowatt motor provides 335 horsepower and 885 pound-feet of rock-smashing torque. Each team will receive four 10-kWh batteries and will be able to build a rig of their choosing around these powertrain elements. Expect to see side-by-sides or trucks with either solid front axles or independent suspensions. Yukon Gear and Axle will be there to assist with drivetrain development while Holley/AEM will provide racers with controllers and other electrical components. Dana will also be on hand to assist teams with the electric motor.
Dana thinks the teams will get about 40 miles of range out of the combined battery packs, but assuming 1 mile per kWh over the rocky terrain found in King of the Hammers races, that might be a little optimistic. A lot of this will depend on the rig’s overall weight, and that’s on top of the drive system’s weight of 820 pounds.
Thus far only one team, led by Kyle Seggelin, has competed in King of the Hammers in an EV. Last year the team brought awith a Nissan Leaf powertrain to the Everyman Challenge, completing 91 miles of the brutal course in 7 hours, 42 minutes and 9 seconds.
“I think this is an awesome progression in EV racing,” Seggelin said. “I like seeing other people getting involved and not just talking about it.”
There are many challenges to over come, not only in the ICE (internal combustion) vehicles, but what do you do when you run out of power for an EV. The solution right now is extra batteries and changing them out in the pits. The batteries are heavy to just swap out but Kyle and his team have made a way to do that. It may not be the fastest way but it is a solution for now. Dave Cole also made this years KOH more challenging than years past, which seemed to take a toll on many racers. The EMC race consisted of over 130 racers from UTV, 4500, 4600, 4800 and the EV class. Seggelin’s race ended due to some electrical coupler transmission problems. They had taken the whole front end apart for this years race and converted it too a solid axle coil over suspension. The next challenge was the 156 miles of race course compared to the 90 miles the prior year. Those batteries are heavy, so the pits were prepared to change out batteries as fast as they could to get back into the race. Kyle is the only racer in the EV class. But, it looks like new teams are going to be competing in this class by next KOH.
The evolution of EV is coming in hot….. stay tuned for more action on the EV front!