Feeds

Nissan to enter 300 kmh electric car in Le Mans endurance race

Kneel before ZEOD

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

With preparations now almost complete for the start of Saturday's 90th anniversary 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race, Nissan has surprised the petro-heads by showing off a fully electric car that it will be entering into the competition next year.

Nissan's ZEOD RC electric car

Nissan goes to the home of motor sport to take on the carbon-heads

While Tesla might get most of the attention, Nissan's Leaf is the world's best-selling all-electric car, and the company has shifted over 65,000 of the little hatchbacks. Now it's taking on one of the world's most prestigious motor races with the ZEOD RC (Zero Emission On Demand Racing Car), which the company claims is the fastest electric racing car in the world.

"We've invested over $5bn in battery technology with the Leaf," said Nissan VP Andy Palmer. "But we're not resting on our laurels and we take that technology and take it to the limit."

Nissan ZEOD electric promo shot

'Kneel before ZEOD'

The Nissan engineers will spend this year testing new drive train and battery designs to wring the maximum amount of speed out of the 700kg vehicle while maintaining the car's ability to be competitive in pit stops. There's as yet no data on the ZEOD RC's range, but it's likely that the racing team will have to replace batteries rather than try and recharge during the race proper.

Le Mans differs from most racing in that winning is not just about speed, but also reliability and fuel efficiency. The fastest car is often not the winner, rather it is the team that can pit their cars quickly and as little as possible, while keeping the drivers in fit enough condition to race.

The track also has some benefits that an electric car can take advantage on. The high-speed Le Mans circuit has few tight corners and so cars designers concentrate less on developing downforce and more on being aerodynamically stable enough to build higher speeds on the long straight sections of track – so much so that some drivers take off from the road in spectacular crashes.

There have been hybrid electric cars competing in the race for the last four years and they now dominate the race, since fuel efficiency means much less time spent visiting the pits. But the ZEOD RC will be the first electric-only entry and in 2014 won't be racing in a specific class, but as an example of possible technology for future races.

"We're trying to show what is possible, to learn what we can maybe achieve. We want to demonstrate that performance can be extraordinary," said Nissan ZEOD RC designer Ben Bowlby. "I believe at the end of Le Mans 2014 we will have changed people's perception of electric vehicles forever." ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
DARPA-backed jetpack prototype built to make soldiers run faster
4 Minute Mile project hatched to speed up tired troops
Hey, Mac fanbois. HGST wants you drooling over its HUGE desktop RACK
What vast digital media repository could possibly need 64 TERABYTES?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.