|(St. Louis, MO) Team BIGFOOT, creators of The Original Monster Truck®, recently completed the first test of their newest creation, BIGFOOT #20, the world’s first battery-powered monster truck. November 8, 2012 will go down as another history-making day for the BIGFOOT® team.Legendary monster truck Hall of Fame driver Jim Kramer navigated BIGFOOT #20 over a pair of junk cars donated by a local salvage yard numerous times to the amazement of the crowd, which consisted of BIGFOOT employees, a local TV news station, and numerous BIGFOOT fans. The truck drove around the parking lot and over the cars for over 20 minutes without losing any power, all while remaining eerily quiet. One onlooker remarked “I’ve been going to monster truck shows for years, and I’ve never actually heard the cars get crushed under the tires. This thing is just unreal!”BIGFOOT #20 is the world’s first completely electric powered monster truck. Odyssey Battery, a sponsor of the team for more than a decade, supplied the 36 car batteries that power the truck, and renowned electric engine builder Dennis Berube of Electrified Motorsports of Phoenix, AZ supplied much of the initial electric racing motor know how.
Beginning with an in-house-designed BIGFOOT racing chassis, the team, including shop foreman and lead fabricator Bryan Bertoletti, electronics specialist Gene Greber, and veteran mechanic Chris Ludwig, set about creating a truly one-of-a-kind truck the likes of which the automotive industry has never seen.
The team installed the powerful DC electric motor, which provides the truck with more than 800 ft/lbs of direct-drive torque, then fabricated a pair of custom lexan-encased battery packs that included a grand total of 30 Odyssey batteries, producing 360 volts of power. With that in place, the team turned to a bullet-proof ProFab transfer case to send power to the custom-built driveshafts, which would in turn motivate heavy-duty ZF planetary axles with internal wet disc brakes to handle the stopping chores. BIGFOOT #20 was then equipped with monster truck standard 66-inch tall Firestone flotation tires mounted on blacked-out custom 25-inch steel wheels, eight (8) nitrogen-charged Knight Stalker monster truck racing shocks, and custom limiting straps to prevent over-extension.
Meanwhile, Nick Dvorchak, BIGFOOT’s in house paint and body man, sprayed some magic on the all-fiberglass Super Duty body, helping to create a multi-layer, graphically-intense paintjob that ran the gamut from difficult fades to hand-painted and detailed electric sparks.
After making its debut to great fanfare at the 2012 SEMA show in Las Vegas, the team wasted no time preparing the truck to make its first test run after its return to St. Louis. By the time the test session was complete, the team’s hopes that they truly had a workable concept on their hands had been fully validated.
A close up shot of the custom electric motor. It was designed and built by Dennis “Kilowatt” Berube.
“We’ve really got something here,” said BIGFOOT VP of Sponsors & Business Development Bob Trent. “A lot of naysayers speculated that we’d never even make it to the cars, much less on top of them. And now we just ran this thing for more than 20 minutes without recharging it. This is really just the start of what this truck can, and will do. A lot of credit goes to Bryan [Bertoletti] and the rest of the guys in the shop for making this truck a reality in what amounts to less than about three months.”
Jim Kramer echoed Trent’s statements and added, “We’ve known for years how powerful our Odyssey Batteries are, but this truck really puts that statement in a new light.” He went on to explain that “The truck was eerily quiet to drive, there’s no roaring noise from a big racing engine in it. So to hear the sounds of the cars crushing underneath the truck and the tires howling on the pavement…that was pretty weird, and cool at the same time!”
The team now plans to complete additional test sessions with the truck, taking what they’ve learned and applying it in hopes of ramping up the performance potential of the new machine. Fans can expect to see it making appearances throughout 2013, with the announcement of official dates expected in the coming weeks.