Nissan pulls cover off full electric, 300 km/h Le Mans race car
Unveiled its ZEOD RC track car; plans to race it at 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans
LE MANS, France—Nissan has unveiled its groundbreaking electric track car it plans to race at next year’s prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans race.
The automaker pulled the cover off its 300 km/h electric ZEOD RC (Zero Emissions On Demand Racing Car), dubbing it “the world’s fastest electric racing car.”
According to Nissan, the car will compete under the Automobile Club de l’Ouest’s ‘Garage 56’ entry—an additional spot on the grid for vehicles that showcase new and innovative technology.
The automaker said it will test variants of electric drive train technologies as part of its plan to one day return to Le Mans Prototype (LM P1) class competition to challenge for overall victory at Le Mans using electrification.
“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 for our planned LM P1 power train,” company executive vice-president Andy Palmer said in a statement.
“The Nissan ZEOD RC is a natural progression that follows on from the development of the Nissan LEAF road car and the LEAF RC race car prototype. The technologies developed through the program will form part of future innovations for road cars.”
While current battery technology doesn’t 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 motorsport.
“A car like this provides an incredibly challenging test bed for what could be highly-effective options for road cars. Throughout the next year we will be testing multiple drive trains in an extensive test program,” Bowlby said.
“Nissan is a leader in electric vehicle technology for the road, now we want to take those lessons learned and utilize that knowledge base in the development of the new race car.”