Lola-Drayson electric racing car unveiled

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A new electric race car prototype has been officially revealed by Lola Group and Drayson Racing Technologies (DRT).

The Lola-Drayson B12/69EV is a technology demonstrator that is aiming to break lap records for electric vehicles at tracks around the world.

Built around the current Lola LMP1 group B12 Le Mans chassis, the new vehicle uses a DRT electric drivetrain to generate 850Bhp, propelling it to 60pmh from standstill in 3.0 seconds. The weight of the car is 1000kg, slightly in excess of the regular 900kgs in the present LMP1.

Power is stored in a new generation of Lithium Nanophosphate cells made by A123 Systems and packaged by Mavizen. The team is also experimenting with structural composite battery technology from BAE Systems – where the batteries are essentially part of the body of the car in an effort to keep weight down.

Charging is done wirelessly and inductively where charge pads made by Halo IPT will be available in the pit garages. The initial target is for the car to be used for short ‘time attacks’, essentially optimising its qualifying performance. To this end multimatic electrical regenerative dampers will also be available.

The Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) at Warwick University will provide recyclable composite body panels, while Cosworth will provide electronic control systems.

Project pioneer Lord Drayson said: ‘Electric racing represents a considerable new business opportunity for motorsport and underlines the growing commercial potential of green racing and technology.

‘Electric-powered racing is really taking off with the launch of the new FIA Formula E world championship for electric racing cars planned for 2013 and we are thrilled to be at the forefront of the push for innovation at such an exciting time for the sport and industry.’

Officially announced at the end of last year the proposed championships will feature eight events per season at city centres venues with winding tracks to avoid long straights and overheating issues.

The field will comprise 24 cars, most likely with different manufacturers, but if more than one car supplier participates, ’the FIA will proceed to a balance of performance between the cars.’

The design and specification of the chassis, aerodynamics and powertrain will be largely unrestricted.

Each race will consist of about four heats per car of 15 minutes each and charging of the cars will be authorized between those heats – ideally the charging time will not exceed half an hour.