Electric cars haven’t caught on with many Americans yet, but a new generation of gearheads is latching on to the performance potential of electric motors. EV West, a small San Diego-based conversion shop is one such group of gearheads. EV West has taken one of the top European sports cars, the BMW M3, and converted it into a race-ready EV that will tackle the Race to the Clouds at Pikes Peak.
I’m not a huge BMW fan, but I have a healthy respect for the Ultimate Driving Machine, and the M3 in particular. It is a well-balanced automobile from the factory, with a clever suspension, powerful engine, and a mentality well-suited for people who consider themselves “drivers”. Taking the M3 and converting it into an electric vehicle is cool enough; racing it in the Pikes Peak rally is even cooler. EV’s have the potential to one day dominate Pikes Peak. Electric motors don’t suffer from power loss at high altitudes the same way conventional engines do.
EV West’s electric M3 uses a Net-Gain HV11 electric motor and an Evnetics Shiva controller to limit output to about 400 horsepower. As the above teaser video shows, this electric M3 is no slouch, and it looks like it has plenty of chops to tackle the famed Pikes Peak rally. EV West has documented much of the build on their Facebook page, so give ‘em the ol’ thumbs up if you dig this project as much as I do.
Pikes Peak has been attracting the alternative fuel crowd for some time now, and the trend is continuing towards greener kinds of competition. Last year Nissan entered a stock Leaf EV into Pikes Peak, and legendary hill climber Monster Tajima is entering a new electric vehicle in this year’s Race to the Clouds.
It’s an exciting year to be an EV racing enthusiast. With the way electric cars have been infiltrating motorsports on all levels, it seems almost inevitable that more people will embrace this new mode of personal transportation, rather than dismissing it outright as slow and boring. If only major automakers would do something as cool as what EV West is doing with their electric M3, the conversion process might pick up the pace.
Source: Electric Vehicles West