Electric motorsport might seem a bit superficial--defining the future of transportation by something as uncouth as speed and excitement.
The reality couldn't be further from the truth. Speedy and exciting it may be, but motorsport has always helped push road car technology to its limits and there's no reason that should change just because the wheels are spinning silently.
The Strategic Recovery Institute EV1 off-road buggy competed in this year's Mexican 1000 on the Baja peninsula--and it's all-electric.
The important stuff first: It looks really cool.
No seriously, that's important. We've seen ugly electric cars putting off drivers on the road, and if electric vehicles are going to make an impression in racing, they have to look cool there too.
Other important stuff: It has 535 horsepower at its disposal, and 750 pounds-feet of torque. As the drivers describe in the video, that power is instantaneous too.
Range is relatively limited (certainly by Baja standards) at 100 miles, which is why the team competed in only short portions of each day's events, punctuated by five hours of charging at each stop. It hits a top speed of 125 mph, and it's tough enough to endure 1,200 miles and 35 hours of off-road racing--this ain't no Nissan Leaf.
As our sister site Motor Authority reports, the EV1 is the result of incredibly hard work and perserverance:
"This is a monumental undertaking that has been 18 solid months in the making," said Jeffrey Smith, founder of Strategic Recovery Institute, before the rally.
"Our entire team is excited about what we are stepping forward to do. We are confident that this capabilities demonstration will generate future battery sponsorship that will allow us to 'hot swap' multiple battery packs and complete entire races in the near future."
Sadly, provisional results confirm the car retired from the rally--something even the best internal combustion vehicles do with regularity, on an event as tough as Baja.
But you can be sure they'll be back--and one day, competing with the top guys for the entire distance.