Published December 14, 2012
Public preconceptions of electric cars as wimpy fiberglass golf carts are starting to wane, ever so slowly.
Now, another plug-in electric vehicle is literally looking to crush those outdated images.
Shown above is the world's first all-electric monster truck, formally known as the Odyssey Battery Bigfoot No. 20 Monster Truck.
Thus far, it's only been displayed at trade shows and hasn't actually competed in any monster-truck events.
But the specs should be enough to strike fear into the hearts of older used cars about to be driven over and dominated, including the hapless Ford Taurus sedans shown here.
Three banks of 10 EnerSys Odyssey batteries deliver a total output of 360 Volts to power a custom-designed 260-kilowatt (350-horsepower) electric traction motor with 850 ft-lb of torque.
These are quite different batteries from the automotive-scale lithium-ion cells used in modern electric cars.
Each one weighs 38 pounds, and produces 540 amps for cold-cranking and a maximum of 1200 amps for up to 5 seconds.
Unlike electric-car batteries, however--which must last for a decade or more over thousands of discharge cycles--the Odyssey batteries are rated at only 400 deep-discharge cycles.
Six additional batteries power the steering system and brakes of the tube-framed truck, which carries an all-fiberglass body (meaning there's very little actual Ford pickup truck in there).
"Developing a custom electric monster truck is part of our efforts to keep up with ever-changing technology," said said Jim Kramer, vice president of research, technology and driver development at Bigfoot 4x4, which built the truck.
"For now, [it] will be used in static displays and parades."
"But as we become more experienced with the electric power unit, battery maintenance, controller adjustments, drive lines, and weather," he continued, "our fans may just see it perform car crushes or even compete in monster truck shows.”
EnerSys has sponsored Bigfoot's monster trucks for a decade, and the two companies jointly developed the all-electric monster truck to show off the ruggedness of its batteries.