EVLN: Wilkinson's Falcon EV conversion 2knockout the ice competition

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EVLN: Wilkinson's Falcon EV conversion 2knockout the ice competition

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It's electric against petrol in Ford Falcon battle  

Simon Wilkinson's electric-powered Ford Falcon ute





The man behind an electric Ford Falcon utility is feeling confident the many nights spent in his workshop converting it are set to pay off.

Rangiora aircraft engineer Simon Wilkinson's been working on the conversion for the past three years in his spare time. He's determined to get his electric vehicle on the road in time to compete in EVolocity, New Zealand's largest electric motorsport event to be held in Christchurch next month.

The converted Falcon is set to come up against a combustion Falcon XR8 at EVolocity at Ruapuna Motorsport Park on November 30.

Wilkinson says if the transmission and driveshaft hold together, he expects it to knock out the non-electric competition.

"All things going well, it should easily beat a Falcon XR8 or XR6 Turbo."

Wilkinson started researching and sourcing electric vehicle parts 10 years ago and says it was his engineering background that led him to the project. It could also be a project that saves a lot of money in the long run.

"It's just a desire to build something that others can't or won't – I'm an engineer, it's what we do. It also makes financial sense as I do a reasonable amount of kilometres each year."

His Toyota Vitz – a relatively economical car – costs him almost $3500 in fuel every year, a cost that could soon be stamped out.

With 60 x 160Ah Winston Battery Cells powering the Falcon, it has a battery capacity of 31kw/hrs. While there's always the possibility of it running out of power, Wilkinson's got this one covered: it's got a 3.3kw fully configurable Brusa Battery Charger on board, making this electric conversion not only economical, but convenient as well.

It is also expected to prove electric vehicles can be powerful too with an expected performance of 560lb/ft of torque and 300 horsepower.

An initiative of the Association for the Promotion of Electric Vehicles (APEV), EVolocity aims to promote the use of electric vehicles while also encouraging New Zealanders to innovate, invent and become involved in the future of transport.

"The sport is growing worldwide with designers and drivers taking electric vehicles to thrilling new places," says Rob McEwen, CEO of EVolocity and director of APEV.

"I am sure those who come to EVolocity will see electric vehicles in a whole new light and some may even come away with a new passion."

Wilkinson's conversion is one of many taking place around NZ, including two Porsche Boxters, a Mazda MX5, Toyota Ceres, Honda City and a Honda Torneo in Christchurch, and a Mazda MX5 in Auckland.

Other EVolocity highlights include:

- A race between the world's fastest electric drag motor bike and the fastest drag motor bike in the South Island.  (The electric drag bike goes from 0-100kmh in 1 second).

- An event featuring 16 Canterbury high school teams who have developed their own custom design and built electric vehicles.

- A showcase of three world record holding electric vehicles from the US, plus New Zealand's first Tesla S (The highest performance electric vehicle commercially available and Motor Trend car of the year, 2013).

- A race between the epitome of motorsport a Ferrari and the high performance Tesla Roadster.

- Stuff
[© 2014 Fairfax New Zealand]

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