The e-kart has a very special history at Linde. It began in 2010, when the forklift specialists from Aschaffenburg came up with the idea of building an e-kart from forklift components. That this worked right from the start is hardly surprising: Linde has been developing electric drive solutions for industrial trucks for more than 40 years.
Why not transfer this technology to other applications? The result of these considerations was the Linde E1, for which the engine, battery, display, controls and software of a Linde electric forklift were integrated into a KZ 1&2 kart class racing chassis. The trick: All technical components of the e-kart came one-to-one from an electric counterbalance truck. The maximum torque of the engine was around 150 Newton metres, so the vehicle reached a top speed of around 120 kilometres per hour.
In the Guinness Book of Records
The E1 proved right from its first appearance before a large audience that top performances can be achieved on the race track with these conditions: During the ADAC GT Masters 2011, 33-year-old racing driver Andreas Wolf from Grimma (Saxony) set a new acceleration world record. In 3.45 seconds he accelerated the E1 to 100 km/h and secured himself a place in the Guinness Book of Records.
With its immense acceleration, the E1 impressed the experts, but it was not suitable for normal use on the kart track. "The E1 was primarily developed for the world record attempt," recalls Wolfgang Klüpfel, Head of Technology at Linde Material Handling.
To remedy this situation, Linde followed the world record kart with the E2, which is more suitable for everyday use. It contained the same drive components as its famous predecessor, but was designed for rental operation on kart tracks with improved endurance and a maximum top speed of 85 kilometres per hour.
Starting signal for E-DRENALINE
After Linde had made a name for himself in the karting world, the next step was not long in coming. In 2013, the Italian racing and rental kart manufacturer CRG and Linde signed a cooperation agreement for the development and production of electric karts, which were launched the following year under the name E-DRENALINE. CRG designs and manufactures the chassis, Linde supplies the electric drive systems, which again come from the series production of Linde forklifts.
"We had to make almost no changes to the motor," says Klüpfel. "We only adjusted it a little bit and made it a little smaller so that it fits into the kart. In principle, however, it is still a perfectly normal forklift engine, as found in a conventional Linde truck."
However, the electric motor is not the only Linde technology from which the E-DRENALINE karts benefit. They are equipped with Linde's fleet management software for go-kart track operation, which enables access control via RFID chip and wireless data transfer, among other things. Since the software collects and analyses all relevant vehicle data, the kart track operators can recognize and plan necessary maintenance work in advance.
CRG also equips the karts with a shock sensor. The vehicles can be configured via software in such a way that they automatically brake depending on the level of the shock. In this way, operators can also determine whether a vehicle has been improperly treated and avoid possible consequential damage.