Internode founder Simon Hackett announces electronic race car plans

The founder of internet service provider Internode, Simon Hackett, has unveiled plans to develop and build a high-performance electronic race car for international exhibition and racing in Europe and Asia.

Hackett, who bought Australia’s first Tesla Roadster in 2009, is joining former Tesla Australia director Rudi Tuisk in the new venture, dubbed EV Race Systems.

Hackett’s new venture comes after selling Internode to iiNet in December 2011 in a $105 million deal, with Hackett standing aside from executive duties in May 2012.

In a statement, Hackett says that while traditional auto makers are ending production in Australia, the country can be a leader in the emerging electric vehicle (EV) market.

“Electric vehicles represent a sunrise industry in which Australia can be a real leader.

“Australia has convenient proximity to Asia for cell supply and access to innovative and exceptionally talented engineers. As we’re saying goodbye to Toyota, Ford and Holden assembly plants, Australia has the opportunity to embrace and invest in EV (electric vehicle) technology that can underpin new local manufacturing in coming decades.”

Rusk says the company’s ambition is to create a “rule-breaking” car.

“At Tesla, we pushed the boundaries of EV technology in many environments and race circuits.  At EV Race Systems, we’re out to develop and deliver the most exciting race car to drive and the most exciting race car to watch.

“To use motorsport as an emotional lever, you need a car that’s very fast, convincing and extremely exciting; action packed! We’ve spent the past year designing just such a vehicle, with some of the best engineers in the world. We are very excited by the data we are seeing right now.

“The DNA of our car makes it super-exciting to drive.  We’ve designed an action-packed, versatile, extremely powerful car that will provide awesome motorsport performance.”

The company aims to develop three to five prototype cars for demonstration in events later this year.

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