Bosch wants to bring quiet karting to the masses
Together with the German Motorsport Association and FIA Electric, Bosch has developed an electric racing kart capable of sprints from 0 to 62 in under five seconds. Underpinning the e-kart is a boost recuperation system borrowed from full-size cars, where it`s designed to produce an additional 10 kW of power to reduce fuel consumption.
In the e-kart, the boost recuperation system works without the accompanying internal combustion engine and uses a 48-volt lithium battery for storing juice; two starter-generators serve as a powertrain.
"We have modified the system for use in professional karting, and we are using it it to electrically power the e-kart prototype," says Dr. Klaus Boettcher, vice president of Bosch Motorsport.
The result is an output of 27 hp and an eye-watering 221 lb-ft of torque, all on tap instantly with a single poke of the pedal. In addition, the two starter-generators can recover energy during braking, which will happen often given these specs. Bosch also says that the kart can hit 80 mph.
"Even during its initial run, the electric kart was able to hit 100 kph in less than five seconds and achieve a top speed of over 130 kph," said Boettcher. "Over the coming weeks and months we will continue testing to further explore the capabilities of the new e-kart."
The only thing Bosch isn`t saying for now is just how long the e-kart can run on that battery, assuming 10/10ths driving, and how much the battery and powertrain weigh.
For now, this silent monster will be evaluated by the company and the German Motorsport Association to determine whether it will be set loose upon the karting world. The latter seems inevitable, especially given the fact kart technology has been stagnant since the days of Formula One legends of the 1980s starting their careers in karting in the 1970s. Without the noise and smell, an e-kart has the potential to make the sport more appealing (or less appealing) to youngsters.