Andros Trophy Electric ClassEnlarge Photo
Who said electric cars don't make sense in cold, snowy conditions?
Certainly not some of the top racing drivers competing in the electric class of the Andros Trophy, an ice racing series that appeared in 1990 and has gone from strength to strength ever since.
The races take place on dedicated ice courses held in the more mountainous regions of France, often at ski resorts like Val Thorens and Alpe D'Huez. The series has seen some famous faces from the motorsport world competing, such as ex-Formula One drivers Patrick Tambay and Alain Prost, and ex-IndyCar champ Jacques Villeneuve.
An electric class appeared in winter 2009-2010 and was won in the first year by Nicolas Prost, Alain's son. He defended it the next year, and the electric class is back again this winter.
As you can see in the video below (via The Charging Point) it certainly adds a different dimension to the racing, not least because the hills are relatively silent in the absence of internal combustion.
The electric cars may not make quite the same power as the typical 300-400 horsepower vehicles - a 120-horsepower, 147-pound foot Siemens electric motor provides the go, with a top speed of 100 mph. Weight is only 1,763 pounds, so even on ice they move at impressive pace. The car is built by Exagon Engineering.
Range anxiety isn't an issue, even considering the cold climate. The battery pack gives enough range for 35 minutes of sideways action.
The Andros Électrique cars may not be the most practical EVs about, but they certainly look like fun. Maybe winter is more suitable for electric cars than we thought...