When I was a kid, my vision of a go kart included a plywood base, a Sears 3.5 HP engine taken from my dad’s mower, and a steering wheel put together from scrap iron. Today’s go kart is being highly influenced by battery welding technology. Electric propulsion is ideal for the go kart track, allowing the vehicle to leverage electric motor torque quickness to reduce precious time between each curve in the track.
The rush to electric propulsion is not limited to go karts, of course. Manufacturers and R&D labs for scooters, motorcycles, bicycles, airplanes, automobiles, boats, and more have shifted most of their attention to EV. In an article I wrote for Micro Welding Today, Global Market Insights estimates the electric motorcycles and scooters market will exceed $40 billion USD by 2026—a $10 billion USD increase in less than seven years! Needless to say, the mobility industry is looking to build a better battery.
And that includes Gary Little, founder of Vextrek, a company currently focused on building and selling electric go kart kits. In less than three years, Gary has been able to push the envelope on battery design. He started his journey with a typical battery spot welder, then moved to an 18650 spot welder, looking for the right tools for him to get more juice out of his power cell.
But Gary ran into a challenge.
“My power cell consists of 500 individual 18650 cans,” Gary says. “My existing battery welding kit was inconsistent. I’m working with copper, which is a difficult weld. I was burning through the tab and into the battery materials. It was 1 a.m., I was tired, frustrated, and about ready to call it a night.”
Instead of turning off the lights and going to bed, Gary leaned up against the battery spot welder he was using and suddenly remembered a conversation he had with Kyle Kinyon, a battery welding consultant with Sunstone Engineering. “It’s funny, isn't it, how things come together? Something Kyle had said weeks ago connects with other information, and suddenly I had the answer I needed. I wanted to call him that minute, but figured I’d let at least one person get a good night's sleep.”
The next day, Gary called Kyle and said, “Kyle, with the right tools I know I can do this. I need the Omega. There was a long pause and Kyle says to me, ‘Hold on, Gary. Let’s talk this through.’ And that’s why I appreciate Kyle’s style. He’s going to help me evaluate every option before suggesting a serious investment. But I was to the point that I realized serious tools were needed in order to create a serious battery.”
For now, Vextrek is a go kart kit manufacturer. But the company’s long-term goals are focused on batteries. “We’re using the go kart market as a testing platform,” Gary explains. “Our goal is to provide performance batteries to many different industries. So, investing in the tools that will help us realize that goal was a no brainer.”
Not long after that call with Kyle, the Sunstone Omega PA250i battery welding system arrived on Gary’s door. “From the very first weld I was amazed. Copper is critical to my battery design and the Omega made copper welding incredibly easy.”
Gary sums it up this way: “Performance comes down to the battery. The motor and the drive train are less important. With the Omega, I’m feeling much more empowered to provide my customers with a truly amazing battery. Yes, Vextrek has more work ahead but I’m confident I have the right tools.”
Click here to learn more about Vextrek. You can also request a free welding sample courtesy of Sunstone Engineering and its Omega battery welding system. To learn more, call or text +1 801-658-0015 or visit www.sunstonewelders.com.