Hayden Paddon will make world history when he competes in the Waimate 50 Festival of Motorsport next weekend.
According to Paddon’s team, it will be the first time an electric rally car has lined up for an event.
Paddon and his team have spent the last two years building the Hyundai Kona EV, completing four tests in the new car over the last two months.
Paddon spoke to Stuff about the milestone event.
“Our small team of seven people, working alongside our partnership with Hyundai New Zealand and our battery supplier Stard Industries in Austria, have managed to pull off a world’s first from Cromwell. Something I will forever be proud of,” Paddon said.
Developing an electric vehicle has been a challenge for the team.
“The development process is taking longer than we first expected; the car set-up is reacting completely different to any combustion car we have dealt with before.
The different set-up has forced to look for new solutions to get the most out of the car.
“The instant power and low centre of gravity have proven to be incredible throughout our development testing. We look forward to showcasing it in Waimate.”
Engineer and project leader Matt Barham also spoke to Stuff about the challenges of working with new technology, though once they found the right path they were able to make good progress.
“We had to understand how all of this was working. It’s only over the last few months we have made really good progress. Beforehand we were trying a lot to find the right path. And now the growth is exponential.
“It’s pretty significant not only here in the history of our event, but for a competition with an EV, it’s a world first.”
The Paddon will compete at the Waimate 50 Festival of Motorsport October 22-24.