Hypercraft, Geiser Brothers unveil future of electric off-roading
At the 2021 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, NV, earlier this month, Hypercraft and Geiser Brothers announced a partnership to develop what they describe as the world’s first unlimited electric vehicle (EV) desert race truck. Designed to go head-to-head against internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles in some of the world’s most grueling long-distance desert races, the over 1600-hp (1193-kW) and 6800 lb·ft (9220 N·m) race truck featured in the North Hall at the SEMA Show provided a sneak peek at the technology and early development of the new vehicle.
The partnership marries Geiser Brothers, a race-proven, championship-winning off-road car and truck chassis maker for about two decades, with Hypercraft, a new player that intends to supply turn-key EV powertrain systems for vehicle makers looking to jump-start their electrification efforts. The partners say they are ready to prove that electric and battery technology have the power to win and revolutionize not only the off-road racing world but also all other high-performance motorsports and powersports vehicles on the planet.
“Geiser Brothers has been building and innovating off-road racing trucks for two decades, and electrification is the logical next step for our company,” said Rick Geiser, Founder and CEO of the AZ-based Geiser Brothers. “With more desert racing truck wins than all other builders combined, we felt it was important to work with a company that is unafraid to take bold steps into the future. That is why we’ve partnered with Hypercraft.”
The Hypercraft founders believe that off-road racing is the “perfect environment” to test emerging technologies, offering the best competitors and the most extreme conditions—the ideal proving ground for Hypercraft to prove EV technology is ready to compete and win. The Geiser Brothers G6E race chassis features Hypercraft tri-motor all-wheel drive, hybridized electric energy pack, and quick-change battery packs. The truck is engineered for a 155-mph (249-km/h) top speed and more than 200 mi (322 km) of estimated range.
“EV propulsion offers many benefits that make the race-truck experience much safer, quieter, and more cost-efficient—with fewer moving parts and greater reliability,” explained Jake Hawksworth, CEO of Hypercraft. “Many people are excited about EV performance, but the public wants to see that high-performance applications are reliable, have the endurance, and are widely available to builders, innovators, and specialty manufacturers like Geiser Brothers. Hypercraft is here to show that the technology is available now. We are excited to play a significant role in changing consumer perceptions and providing EV accessibility to everyone.”
At the SEMA Show, Hypercraft took pre-orders and had distribution options for the electric desert racing truck. The company projects the full release of the electric propulsion system by February 2022. Plans call for a 2022 racing season with team entries in races at SCORE San Felipe 250 (May), SCORE Baja 500 (June), NORRA 500 (October), SCORE Baja 1000 (November), and Mint 4000 (December).
While expanding development and marketing through a world-class race program was the focus of the SEMA announcement, Hypercraft’s founders—investors Eric and Sara Ream; Hawksworth, CEO; and Jon Miller, CMO, Creative & Marketing—have bigger plans for the broader market.
In 2019, the four powersports industry veterans set out to discover what it would take to develop a no-compromises, fully electric powersports vehicle. To go to market, they found that they would have to develop the vehicle’s complete EV drive system in-house from the ground up. The team founded Hypercraft in early 2020, dedicating its focus to developing turnkey EV drive systems for the motorsports and powersports categories.
The management team has set its sights on expanding into six identified “verticals” and developing high-growth market segments. Those verticals are off-highway vehicles (UTV, ATV, SxS, snowmobile, and snow bike), small engine, innovation (racing, motorsports, and special application vehicles), marine, aviation (light and experimental aircraft, drones, and new forms of personal air transportation), and motorcycle.
The EV drive system from the company will consist of two primary components: an electric motor and a battery. The company is designing the electrical components, wiring, and software that connects and integrates these two primary components into a working drive system that can power a variety of vehicles and devices.
Hypercraft execs are planning to provide many power ratings and energy capacities to help industries convert from fossil fuels to electric power, so its off-the-shelf drive systems will range from 5 hp (3.7 kW) and 1-h range for light EV applications to more than 2000 hp (1490 kW) and 6-h ranges for high-performance applications. They plan for the company’s EV drive offering to include smart modules, motor/battery pairing for modular systems, simple startup procedures, easy-to-use software, torque vectoring, energy regeneration, display options, and integrated charging.
On the B2B side, company management says that the racing and innovation projects will not only develop Hypercraft’s technology but will also provide better access to segments within industry verticals. In addition to Geiser Brothers, partners listed on the Hypercraft website are NAWA Technologies, Integral e-Drive, AEM Performance Electronics, Tread Lightly!, and Torque Trends.
Hypercraft’s turnkey EV drive systems will be available for consumer use. Its safety systems will be designed with the retail customer in mind, proven in racing and innovation, fully vetted in B2B systems, and ready for creatives and innovators to purchase. They will be configurable and scalable for our customers’ demands. This will all be done through the company’s direct-to-consumer online retail portal and delivered via industry-standard drop shipping.