Monster truck shows are a staple in the heartland of the United States, a spectacle of automobile carnage where trucks with gigantic wheels do obstacle courses to run over old model cars. The highlight is the Bigfoot, where older cars are crushed afoot. While there are many gasoline powered monster trucks are now running the circuit, one has clearly separated itself from the pack.
Meet the first all electric monster truck, officially known as the Odyssey Battery Bigfoot No. 20 Monster Truck. While it has been on display in trade shows, the Autorama Car Show in Kansas City MO would be the first time the vehicle would be put to the test.
The Bigfoot No. 20 is powered by three rows of ten (10) EnerSys Odyssey batteries that provide 360 volts of power to a 260 KW, or 350 horsepower electric motor. These batteries are very different from the standard lithium ion batteries used in current model electric cars. Each battery weighs nearly thirty eight pounds and can produce 540 amps for cold starts and a maximum output of 1200 amps for about five seconds. Put together, the battery can force the electric motor to create 850 ft-lb of torque.
While this is superb power, there are certain disadvantages are apparent. First is the number of deep discharge cycles. In a standard lithium ion battery, there are thousands of discharge cycles that can be done and a life span of decades before the battery’s service life is spent. For the Odyssey batteries, it is limited only to 400 deep discharge cycles. Secondly, lithium ion batteries provide all the power needed in a standard electric car while in Bigfoot No. 20, there are additional batteries needed for the power steering and the brakes to operate.
Thus in its maiden show in Kansas, officials said that Bigfoot No. 20 would be participating in “two car-crush demonstrations per day” or a politically correct way of saying that the electric monster truck would pulverize old conventional engined vehicles that stand in its way.
According to Jim Kramer, Vice President for Research, Technology, and Driver Development for Bigfoot 4x4, Inc. said, “Developing a custom electric monster truck is part of our ongoing efforts to keep up with ever-changing technology. The Odyssey Battery Bigfoot No. 20 Monster Truck started off in static displays, but it is now ready to perform car crushes.”
With this monster on wheels, gone are the days of electric cars being pictured as wimpy golf carts to now pure muscle on steroids powered by battery electricity.