Sifting through our emails each week can be challenging, usually a minefield of generic spam emails we do occasionally find something worthwhile. One such email was from the new kids on the Go Kart block. Hi Voltage, the first electric Go Karts in Melbourne.
The Hi Voltage team invited us to come down and try out their Karts, having never driven electric Karts before we were keen to see what all the fuss was about.
Bright and early on a Saturday morning we assembled our crackpot team of Karting enthusiasts at Hi Voltage HQ in Ravenhall, VIC.
As soon as we set foot inside we were gobsmacked by how clean this place was! Hi Voltage will be celebrating their 1st birthday soon but you could easily be forgiven for thinking they opened last week!
The Karts were just as clean as the facility and came in two sizes, junior and adult. The first thing we noticed was how aggressive and stylized the adult electric Karts were.
They didn’t look like the standard “Whipper snipper shopping trolley” combo we have seen before. They were sleek with LED headlights and brake lights!!
Pictured from left to right our team of drivers: Luke, Gwyn, Grant & Ying.
Having a quick run down of the Karts we were amazed they had a reverse gear! This was a first for us. Thankfully we didn’t need it even after getting a little tail happy after a few laps.
The adult Karts feature a 4kW AC brushless motor capable of reaching 80kmph in 5 seconds while the junior Karts pack a softer punch with a 1.5kW motor.
The track itself is a challenging mix of tight corners and a high speed section to test even the most experienced drivers. At 300m long and over 4 karts wide, drivers have plenty of room to overtake and if things get messy the entire track uses a state of the art spring system to make crashes softer and safer. Currently it is the safest barrier system on the market!
The other benefit of not using tyre walls like most other tracks is you don’t get caught if you crash and the edge of the track never changes. With traditional tyre walls they get pushed and moved with every crash changing the shape of the track.
The electric Karts are also “Shorts” friendly with no hot engine or exhaust exposed so there’s no risk of burnt leg hairs!
The charging plug is a familiar connection found on most electric forklifts. Being petrol free also means no dizzying fumes or petrol smells which is a massive plus.
The steering wheel is a small F1 style unit that is rather comfortable even after a long session. The Karts also don’t suffer from strong vibrations or heavy steering like most traditional Karts.
We were surprisingly free of the regular aches you get after a day of racing.
Ying – “The first thing you notice after getting into an electric go kart is the instant torque! Rather than the on or off throttle style you usually use in petrol hire karts while you wait to build up power again, it really requires the driver to be responsible about their throttle inputs.“
Ying – “On the plus side, if you choose to be a bit irresponsible, you are rewarded with an excellent drift into the next corner so it’s really a win win! Great facilities, friendly staff, and an awesome technical track layout means I’ll definitely be back to try and lower my lap times!”
Gwyn – “Aside from the instant torque the thing that surprised me most was the sound, as a spectator the sound was a bit underwhelming. Once you’re strapped into the seat it’s a whole different experience, the whine of the electric engine becomes super addictive. It felt like I was driving a tiny F1 car! The drifting ability of the Karts was also incredibly fun although it didn’t help my lap times.”
The wiring throughout the facility was a work of art, from the coiled charging cables to the orange power cables meticulously run above the dummy grid.
In between our sessions we witnessed track locals Mikaylah & Thomas cut some laps in some of the junior Karts.
At just 9 years old Mikaylah & Thomas both proved that size and age has nothing to do with a fast lap time.
Both young drivers finished in the same time range as our team and we were using the full size 4KW adult Karts!!
We finished with the following lap times.
1 Ying 30.970
2 Luke 31.285
3 Gwyn 31.674
4 Grant 32.005
1 Luke 30.222
2 Grant 30.376
3 Ying 30.495
4 Gwyn 30.548
TOP 4 of the week
1 Joe 28.671
2 TUBBY 28.714
3 Dazza 28.873
4 CH3NZO 28.874
Our team had smiles all round coming in after our races. Easily one of the best Karting experiences we have had to date.
Everyone is eager to get back and fine tune our driving style to the electric Karts and hopefully see our lap times drop down in to the high 20’s.
Thanks to the Hi Voltage team for having us.
– Team GSS.