As electrification creeps into motorsports -- from Formula 1 hybrids to the all-electric-- it makes sense that it would trickle its way down to karts, which is where a great deal of drivers get their start. Using a modified version of its heavy-duty stop-start system, Bosch built one hell of an electric racing kart.
Using a chassis from Mach 1 Kart, Germany's largest kart manufacturer, Bosch's latest development is capable of hitting 62 mph in under 5 seconds, with a top speed of 81 mph. Its 48-volt, lithium-ion battery mates to an electric motor on the rear axle. Output is rated at 20 kW (about 27 horsepower) and 222 pound-feet of torque. Yikes.
Instead of building its own dedicated power train, Bosch raided its own parts bin. The system on this kart comes from the company's Boost Recuperation System (BRS). BRS is a middle ground between basic start-stop systems and proper gas-electric hybrids. It acts largely as a stop-start system, keeping the car going while the engine is off, but it's capable of providing low-end torque, as well.
While it might not feel like much in a street car, put it into a tiny kart and you've got one hell of a tire-smoker on your hands. There are no plans to introduce an electric karting series using these, as Bosch has only built a prototype, but it's definitely proof that you don't need a gas engine to kick-start your racing career. If you want to learn more about BRS, check out the video below.