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Old 11-15-2012, 12:07 PM   #272
Ciampa
Baja 2010!
 
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Joined: May 2006
Location: San Francisco, CA
Oddometer: 466
I was looking for the electric buggy but found out that it had withdrawn due to financial reasons. Bummer!



"Jeffrey Smith, whose Strategic Recovery Institute (SRI) has developed a state-of-the-art, all-electric dune buggy racer for desert competitions, failed in his effort to raise $800,000 to compete in the 1,000-mile race that begins Nov. 15, but he did finish building the prototype of the ultimate off-road machine.

The 535-horsepower EV1 race car can hit 100 mph in the dirt, bouncing high on its big coil springs. Under the hood are twin 9-inch NetGain electric motors, spun by 138 ruggedized China Aviation lithium-ion battery cells totaling 83 kilowatt-hours. The results are as rip-roaring as if the EV1 had a gas-guzzling V-8 under the hood. Watch this video of the EV1 tearing around the desert:

According to Smith, founder of SRI and a veteran Baja 1000 racer (he won his class in a Baja Bug last year), the company hoped for a “race on Sunday, sell on Monday” effect. But how can a battery racer with 80- to 100-mile range and five-hour recharge times compete in a 1,000-mile race? Simple enough — with four $32,000 swappable and water-cooled battery packs, three chase trucks and a big support infrastructure. The team could have switched packs in a few minutes and the car would have been off again.

Unfortunately, the team could get their hands on only one battery pack of the type that could survive bouncing around in the desert, and outfitted only one truck with generators, cranes, 110-watt radios and other necessary equipment. They spent $450,000 of their own money, but it wasn’t enough. Now, Smith says, the team is looking at smaller races such as the Rage at the River in Laughlin, Nev., next month."
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