Photo Credit: Colby Marshall, TheMonsterBlog.com
Technology for automobiles has come a long way since the hand-crank motor on early models. Recently, the advent of electric-powered cars have been popular among new buyers. Hybrid vehicles ranging from the Toyota Prius have been top sellers for years.
More recently, Chevrolet debuted it's Chevrolet Volt, a vehicle that relies mostly on electric power rather than gasoline, despite having a fuel system at it's disposal when needed.
Now that technology is making one of the biggest leaps thanks to the Bigfoot monster truck team.
On October 30, the SEMA Show in Las Vegas opens to the public, one of the largest single gatherings for anything automotive. Bigfoot has been a common sight at the event, debuting it's own vehicles. In fact, Bigfoot creator Bob Chandler drove the first official monster truck, Bigfoot 1, to the show in hopes it would be entered. When it couldn't be brought inside, he parked it outside one of the main tents, and drew lots of attention, eventually having organizers move the truck indoors as an exhibit.
For the 2012 edition of SEMA, Team Bigfoot is debuting it's third new truck of the year, but is not just different from it's own fleet of trucks, but it is different from any monster truck in the country right now.
Thanks to sponsor ODYSSEY Batteries by EnerSys, a sponsor of Bigfoot for over 10 years, Bigfoot No. 20 will be revealed at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT at SEMA as the first fully-electric monster truck.
The new truck will have a fully custom 2012 fiberglass body covering the tube chassis, but don't expect any hints of what it looks like until it debuts that afternoon. Powering the new machine is a new electric-powered motor built by Dennis Berube of Phoenix. There will be a total of 30 batteries powering the motor, broken into three banks of 10 a piece. This will provide 360 Volts of power to help provide high horsepower and high RPM's.
Six more batteries will be installed to help power the brake system and the steering, along with all the gauges and safety features.
Additional pieces for the batteries include a variable speed controller to assist with the amount of power going to the motor along with on-board chargers to keep all the batteries at full power.
"The punishing conditions of a monster truck race are a perfect demonstration of ODYSSEY Batteries at their rugged best," said Dave McMullen, director of commercial marketing for specialty and UPS markets at EnerSys. "We are particularly excited to be part of the world's first battery-powered monster truck, and are proud of Bigfoot 4x4 Inc's confidence in our batteries that they play such a crucial role in the truck's performance."
Each battery will provide 540 cold-cranking amps of power, and weigh nearly 40 pounds a piece.
Former Bigfoot driver Jim Kramer, current V.P. of research, technology and driver development at Bigfoot 4x4, Inc, is perticularly happy with the new piece, having seen the success of the batteries in the other Bigfoot trucks.
"ODYSSEY batteries have helped our team to win more than 20 monster truck championships," Kramer said. "We're happy to have ODYSSEY batteries as a partner in the development of the ODYSSEY Battery BIGFOOT No. 20 monster truck. Developing a customer electric monster truck is part of our efforts to keep up with ever-changing technology."
For now, the truck will be mainly a display truck, while also participating in parades. However, Kramer says that in due time, that could change.
"As we become more experienced with the electric power unit, battery maintenance, controller adjustments, drivelines and weather, our fans may see it perform car crushes or even compete in monster truck shows," Kramer said.
Follow Bigfoot4x4.com for more information on the all-new ODYSSEY Batteries Bigfoot No. 20 becomes available both before and after it's debut.