If Tesla Motors is still an underdog, than Local Motors might be considered little more than a benchwarmer by some outside observers. But not this guy; I’ve been enamored with the big ideas behind Local Motors since the very beginning, and this niche automaker is starting to become more than just a blip on the radar.
Local Motors has begun testing an all-electric version of its popular Rally Fighter off-roader, testing to see how the hardy four-wheeler would handle the extra batteries and torque. Local Motors doesn’t appear to have laden the Rally Fighter down with too many batteries, and in the testing video speeds don’t appear to exceed more than 25 MPH. To do an electric Rally Fighter right would likely require some extensive re-engineering, but it certainly should be doable.
So why build an electric Rally Fighter now, several years after it first debuted? Well Local Motors is looking to start building electric vehicles of its own soon, partnering with National Harbor and Oak Ridge Laboratories to begin production of its 3D-printed Strati EV. Local Motors demonstrated its 3D printing technology at the Detroit Auto Show, and apparently there’s been demand for electric versions of the Rally Fighter as well.
With so much attention fixated on Tesla, it can be easy to overlook the accomplishments of lesser-known automakers like Local Motors. Keep an eye on these guys though; Local Motors just might be a breakout hit if CEO Jay Rogers continues to play his cards right.