Drive Sustainable!

Drive Sustainable!
Our club members drive all kinds of EVs (Teslas, BMWs, Leafs, Volts, Fords, Fiats, SmartEVs, electric bikes...)

Friday, June 8, 2018

EV Racing club inquiry

I represent a Colorado nonprofit that is looking to organize EV racing events beginning in 2019.  We are planning on attending the Pikes Peak Hill Climb (and surrounding events) on June 22-24.  I don't see on your website whether your club is planning any collateral events during this weekend, but if you are we would love to attend to introduce our organization to your members and vice versa.

Let me give some more detail about what we're hoping to do:
Our focus is on production EVs rather than purpose-built racecars.  So we'd love to get the Model S Bandimere crowd out to our events, but also cars that people wouldn't normally think of as racecars, everything from a Leaf to a conversion car to a prototype vehicle, even some hybrids.  Given that diversity, we would race the cars in a fluid set of classes, largely dependent on which vehicles come out to a given event, to get interesting/competitive matchups.  The idea is to get people having fun seeing what EVs can do in a competitive environment (even if that's not necessarily a high performance environment for all of the cars).

We are aiming for a similar diversity in event format, whether drag, oval, circuit, road, etc.  Given that we expect a large proportion of initial participants to be people who have never raced before, we anticipate our first racing event including a High Performance Driver Education (HPDE) component to get a stock of qualified drivers for future events.  Since, as you pointed out, we would be talking about racing some daily drivers, we intend to operate under modified rules (limited passing zones, light run groups, etc.) so as to not require safety modifications to stock vehicles (basically, the drivers would have full safety equipment but we would stick with OEM roll protection and safety belts).
With that background in mind, I think there would be a couple of different ways we could partner with your club.  The most basic level would just be networking and communication, trying to knit together communities interested in EVs, who perhaps haven't had much prior interest in racing, with communities interested in racing, who perhaps haven't had much prior interest in EVs.  This is largely what we are thinking for an event the weekend of the Hill Climb; basically just let us buy your members some drinks, chat them up about what we're looking to do, and get some input from them about how we might tailor our operations to their interests.

As things build, I think there would also be good opportunities for cross-promotion.  We intend to network with other EV and racing clubs in similar ways and launch a web forum where folks can see what other clubs are up to in the hopes of getting some crossover participation in each others' events.  That will also give us a good network for promotion of our events.  We might also be able to offer your members some tangible benefits at our events (reduced entry/admission fees etc.).  Finally, if things go well, there might also be opportunities for cross/co-sponsorship.  We might be able to help sponsor some events for your club, give your club some recognition as a sponsor of our events, and/or act as an organizing sponsor for large-scale events that would bring together a number of clubs.

Those are obviously some pretty wide-ranging and speculative ideas about what the future might hold.  For now though our focus is just on opening up a network of communication to generate interest in what we're doing and orient ourselves to the EV community.  Hopefully that gives you some idea of what we're thinking, but feel free to ask any follow-up questions.  I'd love to get your thoughts on whether any/all of this might be of interest to your members.
Thanks.
-Sean Towles

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