Nissan is looking to be dominant not only in the consumer electric vehicle space, but also on the race tracks. It is gunning to win at the Le Mans 24 Hours next year and beat the likes of Drayson Racing Technologies. To do this it will have to bring along a wicked fast electric car, and it may just have that in the newly unveiled ZEOD RC.
Said to be the world’s fastest electric racing car, it reportedly is capable of reaching speeds over 300km/h (186 MPH). It will race in next year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, with plans for an “intended future return to LM P1 competition to challenge for overall victory at the world’s most prestigious endurance race.”
Nissan’s ZEOD RC will make use of the same battery technology as what’s found in the Leaf all-electric consumer car. It will also serve as a test bed over the next year for multiple electric drivetrain technologies before it is raced, and these include a “Zero Emission on Demand” option where the driver can switch between electric and petrol-powered drive, in addition to pure electric power and other new technologies that are still under development.
One thing which may inhibit Nissan from a solely electric Le Mans prototype though is energy storage capacity due to limitations on current battery technology. The Japanese automaker is still pushing froward with the ZEOD platform, however, believing its development “will be an important step in the ‘electrification’ of the racecars of the future.”
The ZEOD-RC follows in the footsteps of Nissan’s LEAF RC, which debuted in 2011 as a racecar prototype powered by the same 107-hp electric motor that is used in the road car. The technologies developed through the ZEOD RC program will form part of future innovations for Nissan road cars as well, it was noted.