Rich Benoit Tows the ICE-T 3,000 Miles to the SEMA Show

The journey to create the world’s first Tesla with a combustion engine has ended. We are yet to see this video on the Rich Rebuilds YouTube channel. However, Rich Benoit shared images of ICE-T (internal combustion-engined Tesla) ready and getting towed to the 2021 SEMA Show on Twitter.
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ICE-T's Final ColorView from Underneath ICE-TSteven Salowsky, Rich Benoit, and Josh Tow the ICE-T to the 2021 SEMA ShowICE-T, the V8 Tesla, Now Has a RadiatorICE-T, the V8 Tesla, Now Has a RadiatorICE-T, the V8 Tesla, Now Has a RadiatorICE-T, the V8 Tesla, Now Has a RadiatorICE-T, the V8 Tesla, Now Has a RadiatorICE-T, the V8 Tesla, Now Has a RadiatorICE-T, the V8 Tesla, Now Has a Radiator
True to his low-cost propositions to most everything, Benoit did not put ICE-T in a “fancy truck” to exhibit it at the tuning event. He put it on a trailer and towed it with Josh and Steven Salowsky for more than 3,000 miles. At least those are the folks that appear with him in the picture above.

Even if we are yet to watch the video about the journey and the exhibition on YouTube, Benoit shared a short video of the car working on Twitter as well. You will be able to see ICE-T in the embedded tweet below and also hear the LS3 V8 bubbling. Benoit ironically dedicates it to the folks who said it would never work.

One of the YouTuber’s followers asked him why he didn’t drive ICE-T to SEMA. The answer is kind of obvious, but Benoit did not refrain from it: that was a risk not worth taking. ICE-T could crash, get hit by other cars, rock chips… Its first task was to be presented in the famous customization event. Having fun driving it will have to wait a bit.

Apart from showing how skilled Josh is (we were told he knows a thing or two about Nascar vehicles), ICE-T was born to prove that converting an EV to use a combustion engine was possible. It may be pointless – considering oil is running out, and the future is electric – but not everything needs to be sensible.

Curiously, ICE-T can be framed as such. Benoit decided to create it to recycle a Model S body that would otherwise be melted to make beer cans. It would not make sense to spend north of $20,000 to give it a new battery pack and other missing components. It could have been the case if battery packs were not so expensive, but we’re not there yet.

In a way, ICE-T is also a warning to speed up the process. With used electric cars increasingly needing new battery packs, not making sure they’ll get them favors the technology that’s been around for more than 100 years. It is just a matter of making it work under what once was a frunk lid, and Benoit and his team proved it can be done.


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