The future is coming and the future is here at Paddon Rallysport Group. After the initial idea come together in 2017, a group of some of the brightest young engineers and technicians was formed in late 2018 to begin the project to construct one of the first EV Rally Cars in the world.
While EV technology already exists in several forms of motorsport, rallying presents the biggest challenge to make this ever evolving technology work in the most demanding of motorsport environments. Its about combining performance, range and reliability into one package. At PRG the design concept is to create a EV platform that is not only fast and spectacular, but one that can compete in a traditional rally format up against normal IC competition.
Working with our technical partner STARD, PRG will then develop a lot of the systems and some unique technology that sets our EV project apart. New Zealand also provides the best test facilities on our back door step - with an international race circuit at our facilities and gravel roads stretched around the mountains surrounding our Central Otago base.
Our time frame for our project is:
New team base acquired and setup at the spectacular Highlands Motorsport Park with direct access to international race circuit. Perfect testing and development facilities.
Soon after 6 young engineers and technicians join the team including Matt, Rory, Ben, Jack, Mike and Vanessa. The basis was now in place to push forward on the EV concept that had spent the last 12 months on planning.
At a worldwide media event streamed around the world, we share our vision and project to the motorsport community.
While the design phase was well under way at this point, the physical build had yet to start. Making sure all the boxes were ticked, we analysed the perfect chassis and geometry using data from existing cars and simulation data utilizing the whole new weight distribution of the car given the extra weight of the battery's. At this time we also took delivery of a brand new Hyundai Kona to be used as a donor car.
After 8 months of design and simulation, the chassis and geometry design was complete. This meant that the chassis build could start with confidence.
Design continues working alongside STARD on the systems and drive-line of the car and the all important battery pack. The first prototype battery will be a smaller pack to allow us to simulate power use once the car is up and running to incorporate the full size rally battery during 2020.
Our technicians Mike and Ben got to work on preparing the body shell which will include over 500 hours of work over the coming months.
After stripping the brand new car to a bare shell, work then began on lightening the shell as much as possible to compensate for the extra weight of the battery's. They after making the Jig, strut towers and suspension points are inserted before work begins on a whole new floor and battery mounting to allow for quick battery changes.