- Nissan‘s ZEOD RC is more than twice as fast as current electric road cars
- Over the next year the UK car maker will trial new technologies to boost the cars performance
- It will then race at next year’s Le Mans 24 Hours motorsport event
Nissan has unveiled the world’s fastest electric racing car that can reach speeds of more than 185mph – twice the speed of current electric road cars.
The Zero Emission On Demand Racing Car – ZEOD RC – is fitted with modified versions of the electric technology used in the UK car maker’s LEAF model.
The ZEOD RC will make its race debut at next year’s Le Mans 24 Hour event in France.
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NISSAN’S ELECTRIC TECHNOLOGY
The technology in Nissan’s ZEOD RC car builds upon its electric designs in its Leaf model.
Leaf stands for Leading, Environmentally friendly, Affordable, Family.
It uses an 80 kW and 280 N-m front-mounted electric motor that drives the front axle, powered by a 24 kilowatt-hours lithium ion battery pack.
This system is designed to create up to 90 kilowatts (120 hp) power.
The current Leaf model can reach speeds of up to 93 mph and it goes from zero to 60 mph in 9.9 seconds.
The battery pack is designed to retain 70 to 80 per cent of its capacity for 10 years.
The Leaf also has an auxiliary 12-volt lead-acid battery that powers the car computer systems including the radio, headlights and windshield wipers.
A U.S version also has a small solar panel on the rear spoiler.
Nissan unveiled the car to fans ahead of this weekend’s Le Mans 24 Hour race.
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.
These trials will then be used to create technology for future electric road cars.
Nissan said it will showcase these developments as they happen on its YouTube channel and Nismo.TV.
The ZEOD RC design team was headed by Ben Bowlby who was recently appointed as Nissan’s Director of Motorsport Innovation.
Bowley said: ‘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.
‘The program is designed to develop multiple technologies to evaluate how they could be used for a future return of Nissan at Le Mans. We are investigating multiple options.
‘A Zero Emission On Demand option – where the driver can switch between electric and petrol-powered drive – is a future direction for road cars, so that will be tested in addition to pure electric power and other new technologies.’
While current battery technology doesn’t provide the energy storage capacity to race a solely electric Le Mans prototype, 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 learnt and utilize that knowledge base in the development of the new race car.’
Launched in 2010, the Nissan LEAF has become the world’s best-selling all-electric car.
Nissan launched the Nissan LEAF RC in 2011 – a race car powered by the same 107-hp electric motor that is used in the road car.
The LEAF RC uses Leaf’s lithium-ion battery pack and 80-kW, 107 horse power motor.