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The U.S. Military might be interested in the EV1, an electric off-road racer that was built for the storied SCORE Baja 1000 race.

Though the likely-named Jeffrey Smith was not able to raise the $800,000 he needed to get the vehicle he designed into the 1,000-mile desert race that started on November 15, he did successfully engineer a high-tech, all-electric dune buggy that could be worth a great deal if border patrol, law enforcement, and military agencies see its worth.

In the dirt, the 535-horsepower EV1 can reach up to 100 miles per hour, according to Smith. However, the drawback to relying on an electric vehicle is the same drawback that kept Smith and his EV1 out of this year’s Baja 1000. It only has an 80- to 100-mile single-charge range and a five-hour recharge time. Smith had been hoping to assemble a team of support trucks and four sets of $32,000 batteries to follow him during the race so that his ride’s batteries could be quickly swapped out during the race. Unfortunately for Smith, he was only able to secure a single chase truck along with a collection of generators, radios and other equipment. Smith now says he will enter shorter races.

This writer thinks that, at the very least, the electric-motor-quiet vehicle deserves a look-see by America’s military, park services and border patrol, since, probably, there are plenty of missions that are shorter than 80 miles.

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About the author: Andrew Greene


Now playing the role of grumpy old man in the foothills of Northern California’s Gold Country, Andrew has had a life-long love affair with vehicles of all sorts, from the bicycle he pedaled across the continent in 1991 to the armored personnel carriers he drove in the Army to the bamboo rafts, elephants, motorcycle taxis, ferries and buses he traveled by during the 13 years he lived and worked in South East Asia. Always eager to learn more about how the people of the world get from here to there in their day-today lives, he, a professional journalist, has been covering the vehicle industry for years.


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