While we had suspected they were using the PML Flightlink in-wheel motors to achieve their claimed 700 bhp, we were somewhat glad to learn differently. PML Flightlink went into administration in November and the future of their Hi-Pa Drive™ motors is unclear. Bee Automotive will be making use of in-wheel motor technology that was developed at Oxford University. They are said to be 97 percent efficient, have high torque and low weight. We look forward to seeing them in action. Hit the jump for all the details in the press release.
[Source: Energy Efficient Motorsport]
Electric Racing Car to enter the Speed Hill Climbing Championships in 2010
On 16th October Bee Automobiles Ltd announced that the Bee Four electric racing vehicle (ERV) designed by Martin Ogilvie, will participate in the British Speed Hill Climb championships with Graeme Wight jr as the driver. Bee is now delighted to announce that the ERV will race as the BRM Bee Four ERV reviving the BRM brand in its 60th year.
The BRM Bee Four ERV code named the 'Watt 4' is an all electric 4WD vehicle capable of producing 700hp or 520kW. The ERV uses motor technology developed at Oxford University.
Bee is a Campaign Partner of EEMS – the Energy Efficient Motor Sport programme.
The BRM Bee Four ERV will revive the famous BRM brand. BRM is a previous winner of the British Speed Hill Climb championship, the F1 world Drivers and Constructors championships and a total of 17 F1 Grand Prix's, with Graham Hill and Sir Jackie Stewart as two of the winning drivers.
Participants in the project include Rubery Owen, Oxford University, Oxford Brookes and MIRA Ltd – Motor Industry Research Association.
The BRM Bee Four electric racing car will be driven by Graeme Wight, a former two times Speed Hill Climb Champion, and a man who has set 4 outright records at Doune, Loton Park, Prescott and Shelsley Walsh. Graeme announced his intention to drive the vehicle at the Changing Climate in Motorsport Technology event at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on 4th December which coincided with the start of Wales Rally GB.
2009 is the 60th anniversary of BRM so it is very appropriate to revive the brand in an innovative new car. In fact BRM was founded just after the Second World War by Raymond Mays, who had built several hill climb and road racing cars under the ERA brand before the war, and Peter Berthon, a long-time associate. Mays' pre-war successes (and access to pre-war Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union design documents) inspired him to build an all-British Grand Prix car for the post-war era, as a national prestige project (which, naturally, he would drive himself!) with the backing (both financially and in kind and labour) of the British motor industry and its suppliers channelled through a trust fund.
This proved to be an unwieldy way of organising and financing the project, and as some of the backers withdrew, disappointed with the team's slow progress and early results, it fell to one of the partners in the trust, Alfred Owen of the Rubery Owen group of companies, which primarily manufactured car parts, to take over the team in its entirety. Between 1954 and 1970 the team entered its works F1 cars under the official name of the Owen Racing Organisation and won 17 Grand Prix's, The Drivers World championship and 2 World constructer's titles.
The BRM Bee Four electric racing car will be consistent with BRM's long history of innovation and teamwork, and will be a great demonstration of Rubery Owen's modern day focus on Environmental Technologies. It will also be a 'marker' for a new breed of motorsport, one that minimises environmental impact and is overwhelmingly cost effective, but at the same time phenomenally fast and very 'inclusive'.
Paul Owen, Grandson of Sir Alfred and Managing Director of Rubery Owen's Environmental Technology Subsidiary Rozone Limited commented that "Rubery Owen is very pleased to see the BRM name once again being used to drive forward an innovative development to take Motorsport to new levels - for the last decade our Rozone subsidiary has been seeking to develop technologies under the umbrella of "Sustainable Solutions" - solutions that try to balance economic, social and of course environmental considerations, all within a framework of teamwork and co-operation.
"We believe that the BRM Bee Four project demonstrates this perfectly - acknowledging the past, enhancing the present, and creating the future. At a time when we are all examining the 'cost effectiveness' and 'environmental impact' of many parts of what we do, we hope that the project can demonstrate that Motor Sport can be both of these things - but without forgetting the 'social' aspect of the importance of 'fun' enjoyment and competition' - the main reason that we all do it in the first place!"
The BRM Bee Four is part of a business plan by Bee Automobiles to produce a range of production cars. The business will be further funded by private equity.