News Local

Vancouver series aims for guilt-free racing

By Eric MacKenzie

A zero-emission go-kart in action.
SUBMITTED

A zero-emission go-kart in action. SUBMITTED

A Vancouver company with zero-emission go-karts capable of speeds exceeding 100 km/h says this is the year its B.C. race series will leave the start line.

The G-Zero Championship Racing Series has contracted an Indiana company to manufacture its battery-powered karts.

“Our fans can expect to see races coming up in just a few months,” said G-Zero spokesman Dan Spalding.

“Years and years of effort have gone in to actually getting us to a point where we have the karts coming in and we have dates for our races.”

G-Zero started as the brainchild of president Greg Webster to approach auto racing in a way that eliminated “pangs of guilt about the use of internal combustion engines,” according to the company website. Much like auto manufacturers test their newest technology in racing environments before applying it to passenger vehicles, G-Zero hopes to do the same for the green auto industry.

“That is exactly one of our goals,” said Spalding. “We’re always looking at how we can ... improve on the technology that’s out there, bring in components that industry members are already familiar with but improve them, make them zero-emission, make them all electric, and help to add the improved technology as a whole and push for a greener, more sustainable world.”

A previous attempt to launch the series in 2014 stalled, but G-Zero is adamant the green flag will drop this year.

Full details aren’t yet confirmed but Richmond, New Westminster and Nanaimo are among the places Spalding said G-Zero has obtained permission to hold events on roadways this year. A City of New Westminster official said an event date is one of only remaining details.

The karts are limited to a maximum speed of 113 km/h — G-Zero tests have had them going up to 130 — but will be available to drivers of all experience levels aged 14 and older.

More info on how to participate or schedule a test drive is available at gzeroracing.ca, while G-Zero will also have a booth running at next month’s Vancouver International Autoshow.