On Thursday February 19th at Daytona, Local Motors announced a partnership with Ben Kennedy and Red Horse Racing to sponsor the No. 11 Toyota Tundra in the Camping World Truck Series.
“It’s a big deal for us,” Jay Rogers, Co-Founder and CEO of Local Motors, said. “We’re a small company at Local Motors. We are a technology company that designs, builds and sells vehicles. For us, the heart and soul of what we do is bring new technology to the market.”
Rogers added that being able to partner with Kennedy is huge as he represents the future and what youth thinks of stem education.
“For Ben, we’ve been super excited about his willingness to talk to fans, whether it’s through social media or the online account that he runs at LocalMotors.com,” Rogers continued. “Ben is the voice of the future. He is the voice of the future fan, the future driver. He’s come up as a young driver to win Rookie of the Year, and he represents the hope of what not only it means to race and enjoy, but also to manufacture and bring scientific, mathematics and engineering to the forefront.”
The exact number of races that they will sponsor Kennedy was not announced, with Kennedy saying “the rest of the schedule as we go along”.
“I believe Local Motors is so important in NASCAR not only because it’s a new brand and new identity in the sport, but also the fact that it may be able to help advance the technology in the sport,” he commented. “These guys can bring cars to the road faster than anyone else can and really unique innovative personalities are involved with Local Motors. Not only are they really nice and sincere, but very intelligent as well. Being able to partner with Local Motors and be apart of the future is something really special.
Local Motors also announced on Thursday that they hope to get the first 3D printed highway capable vehicle on the market within the next 24 months.
“You’ll see the first 3D printed cars on the road before the end of 2015,” Rogers commented. “They’ll be a very limited run – a BATA launch of the vehicle. Price point is between $18,000 and $30,000 for the first cars; they’ll be introduced in very discrete areas. Our next two factories go up in Knoxville and Washington, and then first 3D printed car for highway use will be available a little less than 24 months from now. We’ve started crash testing and there’s a lot of work to do in supply chain development. ”
They have already begun creating cars, beginning with the Rally Fighter, which was on display as part of the announcement.
“That was created by co-creation,” Rogers stated. “It’s never happened before where you take a complex device, like a racecar, and you invite people to contribute.”
In announcing the partnership with Kennedy, they have welcomed to their factory to create a car of his own, in hopes of seeing the car later this year.
“To be a part of that is really special and to go outside and see the Rally Fighter, the first co-created car, and the whole idea of co-creation is so fascinating to me,” Kennedy commented. “Bringing people together, the whole Local Motors community, and hopefully one day, the NASCAR community to come in and develop cars. To take ideas that you have and put it down on paper, design it and develop it, manufacture it and to actually feel it and touch it and drive it on the road and maybe race it on the race track one day is something that is really amazing and interesting to think about.”
Local Motors is also going to host a design challenge for their community members to design Kennedy’s helmet, beginning in April. The winning design will be unveiled at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 15th, with Kennedy wearing it for the majority of the rest of the season.