Add Nissan to the fray of manufacturers looking to develop the fastest electric racing car. With the debut of the groundbreaking, innovative ZEOD RC, Nissan may have just taken the lead in the efforts, as the car, powered by the same lithium battery technology found in the Nissan Leaf, will reportedly exceed 300 km/h.
Nissan claims the car is the world’s fastest in the category and will put it to the test at the Le Mans 24 Hour race next year. The Japanese car maker will use variants of new electric drivetrain technologies.
Run as a Nissan / Nismo full factory international program with input from Japan, Europe and the US, the Nissan ZEOD RC design team is headed by Ben Bowlby who has been newly appointed as Nissan’s Director of Motorsport Innovation and previously worked on the Nissan DeltaWing program in 2012.
Race fans are getting the chance to see the car in the public area of the Circuit de la Sarthe and will provide continued updates on YouTube and the Nismo.TV channel.
“Nissan has become a global leader in the development of zero emission automotive technology and the Nissan ZEOD RC will allow us to further develop those capabilities using the toughest endurance race in the world as a mobile test bed to test the potential of our planned LM P1 powertrain,” said Andy Palmer, executive VP and executive committee member at Nissan Motor Company Ltd.
Nissan launched the Nissan Leaf RC in 2011 – a race car prototype powered by the same 107 hp electric motor that is used in the road car.
While current battery technology does not provide the energy storage capacity to race a solely electric Le Mans prototype, Nissan ZEOD RC designer Ben Bowlby believes the development of the car will be an important step in the “electrification” of the race cars of the future.
“Developing a car like this provides an incredibly challenging test bed for what could be highly-effective options for road cars of the future. Throughout the next twelve months we will be testing multiple drivetrain options in an extensive test program,” Bowlby said.
Nissan partnered with Michelin to produce tires for the prototype. The Nissan ZEOD RC will make its testing debut later this summer.
Photo Credit: Newspress