EV West is due to race its awesomely awesome converted BMW M3 in the upcoming Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on August 12. With a bit of unexpected time on its hands – the event was delayed due to the recent Colorado wildfires – the outfit tossed the keys to one Bill Caswell to let him discover what 420 or so electric ponies feels like.

Now, Caswell is a rally racer who, outside of golf carts, had never driven an electric vehicle before. With a little bit of guidance through the start-up process, however, he was soon making his way down the streets of San Diego. Initially impressed by the smooth power delivery, his grin grew to a broad smile, interrupted by outbursts of "Oh My God!" and "It just surges!" as the adrenaline and electrons flowed freely through their respective systems.

While we can't predict whether the car will come out on top in its maiden "race to the clouds", we are pretty certain of one thing: the driver is going to enjoy the ride. Scroll on down to watch one gearhead's entertaining conversion experience.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      WOAH HVH... things have changed out there... That's freaking awesome man. When i left California 3-4 years ago, i don't remember any of that. Hopefully Utah gets the hint.... :)
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      How about for charging? When you go into a big regen event can current batteries handle all that electricity? By what I understand, they take some of it but much of the energy is thrown away since the battery just can't take it all so fast. Would capacitors help in that? Or am I mistaken and this is really not a problem.
      mustang_sallad
      • 2 Years Ago
      Add EVWest on facebook, they just posted a photo of their hilarious and awesome twin Warp 11 setup.
        Dave R
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mustang_sallad
        Link to said photo: http://goo.gl/KBmBV
      HVH20
      • 2 Years Ago
      Uh oh, looks like the cat is out of the bag. There is a small but growing high performance EV group in San Diego and the cars are wicked quick. Love seeing peoples expressions for the first time. I remember my first time cutting 300kW loose!
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @HVH20
        Cool! I'm glad it's catching on in the 4 wheel crowd.. the car conversion scene has been tiny way too long. 300kW? that sounds like wicked fun.. the kind of power that requires you to basically detune the initial torque so that the axles don't shear in half as soon as you step on the pedal.. I have only had fun on 2 wheels, and i must say 8kW on a bicycle had me lookin' like that guy the first time i unleashed it.. with more fear, lol. I'm about to run 20kW on a bicycle... O_O a motorcycle chassis is most likely coming next :P
      noevfud
      • 2 Years Ago
      Warp DC motors, really. No wonder they needed a transmission.
        Dave R
        • 2 Years Ago
        @noevfud
        Nothing wrong with using a transmission - especially in a race car where you need maximum acceleration and high top speed. The Warp DC motors are reliable, produce tons of torque and fairly affordable.
        HVH20
        • 2 Years Ago
        @noevfud
        I'm surprised the transmission is holding, I've seen a single Warp 11 eat plenty of built fixed gear transmissions let alone a 2-speed. Best of luck with that much instant torque.
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      That's a fine e-grin ya got on your face, sir.. :D I know guys who won't go back to gas racing after they toyed with an electric conversion :).. It's still expensive, but there is nothing like commanding a super torquey land rocket like that.
      Roy_H
      • 2 Years Ago
      At some point the conversion to electric will be massive as when most people have had an oppertunity to ride in an EV.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Roy_H
        Still need to get the price down. A lot of people would like an electric but can't afford one.
      HVH20
      • 2 Years Ago
      Off the top of my head, the area has EV West, SSI Racing, Airtech Streamlining, Electracity Motors, Flux Power, Epic EV, Aptera (gone), Bob's EV, Plug-in Conversions, ISE Corporation (gone), Transpower, Voith Turbo, AVL, Motivo, Wheego, Hollywood Electrics, Vision Motors, Quantum, Cal Motors, HPEV and a few more shops all in Southern California.
      Ford Future
      • 2 Years Ago
      Are there any ultra capacitor's yet on the market?
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        Why would you need big heavy capacitors when you have batteries capable of 100C discharge rates on the market? capacitors are like lead acid batteries in terms of the energy storage they have. They coulda been helpful about 3-5 years ago before we started seeing high discharge batteries.. now... kind of a joke.
      black08mustanggt
      • 2 Years Ago
      The most interesting thing about that was the transmission, it actually had one. It appeared to be a sequential of some sort. I can't imagine it's BMW's DSG. I'm at work so I listened with the sound off. Do they mention it here or anywhere else?
        Dave R
        • 2 Years Ago
        @black08mustanggt
        It's a 2-speed powerglide transmission. Details on their Facebook page: http://goo.gl/9xTqt
      Ford Future
      • 2 Years Ago
      Man discovers Electric. The problem with ICE is it's inertia.
      noevfud
      • 2 Years Ago
      Low RPM, not sealed, require brush maintenance, no regen, very large, require transmission, etc. I can think of many better motor options.
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