Our friends over at EV West made a big announcement last week regarding the driver they have secured to pilot their All Electric BMW M3 at this years Pikes Peak international Hill Climb. Look for a feature article coming soon about EV West and the company owner, Michael Bream. Innovators like these guys certainly deserve a closer look. Wouldn’t you agree? In the meantime, here is the official press release from EV West:
For immediate release: Boris Said will Race an Electric Vehicle at Pikes Peak!
San Marcos, CA – May 17, 2012 – EV West, an electric vehicle performance shop is excited to announce that Boris Said, professional racecar driver of NASCAR and Nürburgring fame, will pilot the company’s electric powered, 1995 BMW M3 up the infamous Pikes Peak Hill Climb on July 8, 2012. EV West converts existing road cars to high performance electric drive and manufactures a proprietary line of parts for those wishing to perform the conversion themselves. “The converted cars still have good range, but the focus is on the performance and speed.” says EV West Co-founder Michael Bream. “When building high performance cars, the natural evolution is motorsport and the same is true with electric. It’s why we are racing at Pikes Peak this summer.”
Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is the natural proving ground for electric vehicles as their engines are not affected by the lack of oxygen that robs traditional engines of nearly 30% of their horsepower as they climb to finish at 14,140 ft. As for having Boris Said on board for this legendary race? “The partnership is a perfect fit! Boris knows BMWs and we know high performance electric cars!” said Matt Hauber, cofounder of EV West. Boris is also very excited to be a part of the EV West Team at Pikes Peak this summer. “Its my 25th year racing and I’m fortunte enough to have competed at the 24hrs of Daytona, Sebring, Bathurst, 24 hrs of the Nurburgring, The Daytona 500, Baja 1000 and Circuit de Spa, but not Pikes Peak which is on my bucket list. It’s always been on my bucket list.”
Pikes Peak is already the most famous hillclimb and the second oldest race in the US, but it’s also quickly becoming the largest electric motorsport event. Seven electric vehicles are registered for this year’s climb which includes the current champion Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima. It’s not just the number of entries, but the nature of the electric cars that are competing. They range from serious, custom-built race cars like Tajima’s to EV West’s converted streetcar built in the proverbial California garage.
As an entrepreneurial electric car company, EV West was hesitant about approaching legendary racer Boris Said but was pleased to hear his response. “Driving anything fast… go karts, LeMans, Daytona 500, its all the same… its racing.” Even better was Boris’s perspective on electric vehicles. “Electric cars were the first ones ever built and once the infrastructure is in place, things will change again. In the beginning, you used to go to the drugstore and get a gallon of gas. The same is currently true of electric.”
“Next up are dyno pulls and track testing.” says Bream. “The goal is to expose any weakness now and improve it before raceday. The setup is similar to our road going conversions but modified for racing duty. Larger motors, more heat dissipation, a larger speed controller – in fact we are running the one of the largest motor controllers in the world, of which maybe five exist in the US.” Even more impressive is the car’s output of 400 horsepower will be increased to nearly 700 by raceday through the addition of a second electric motor.
“People typically ask us what the downside is to converting a car to electric as it seems too good to be true. They have few moving parts, are easily serviced, have decent run times for local driving and are crazy fast. The only negative is the cost and weight of the batteries, which like every other piece of electronics those will drop significantly as the market embraces the technology”
Oh, and did we mention the car is street legal? It is.