UBC student electric car to compete in Knox Mountain Climb

Event: Electric race car test drive
When: Saturday, May 16, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Knox Mountain Park Road, Kelowna

A team of University of British Columbia engineering students hopes to write history this weekend.

They are fielding the first electric-powered car to compete in the Knox Mountain Hill Climb, North America’s longest-running hill race that attracts top drivers across the Pacific Northwest.

The students, all members of the UBC Vancouver campus E-Car Club, converted a 1984 Reynard Formula Ford car into a racing machine that can potentially achieve speeds of about 160 km/h during the hill climb.

“The Knox Mountain Hill Climb is in its 58th year and all these years, no one has ever competed with an electric car,” says UBC E-Racing Club president Theo Noyes. “We’ll be racing on a narrow paved road with a steep grade, very different from a flat racetrack, and that makes it all the more challenging.”

The race takes place this weekend, May 16 and 17, at Knox Mountain Park Road, Kelowna. The road is 3.5 kilometres long and climbs approximately 245 metres in elevation. Cars compete in several classes, from formula cars to large-engine cars. They are run one at a time, with the drivers all hoping to come in under two minutes.

“Our goal is to push the limits of what can be accomplished with electric power. We believe that electric cars can be exciting, fast, and an adrenaline rush to drive,” says Noyes.

For more information on the event, visit: www.knoxmtnhillclimb.ca

The UBC Okanagan student Motorsports Club will also have a table and display at the Knox Mountain Hill Climb this weekend.