Date:16 July 2014
In June, the revolutionary Nissan ZEOD RC electric car reached its historic goals: it hit an astonishing 300 km/h on the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans and recorded a complete lap of Le Mans on electric power only.
Japanese ace Satoshi Motoyama achieved the target of 300 km/h on electric power only in his first outing (the Thursday before Le Mans) on the Circuit de la Sarthe.
GT Academy winner Wolfgang Reip was at the wheel when the team achieved an entire lap of Le Mans on pure electric power during the morning warm-up.
Reip started the race aboard the ZEOD RC and completed five laps before losing drive at the 23-minute mark. A suspected gearbox issue caused an early retirement. Remarkably, the gearbox was one of the more traditional parts of the powertrain package.
The unique ZEOD RC prototype features a dual electric/internal combustion powertrain – a pair of 110 kW electric motors and a 1,5-litre three-cylinder turbo engine (weighing just 40 kg) producing 298 kW. ZEOD (zero emissions on demand) technology permits the driver to switch back and forth between the two power sources.
In addition to making history with the 300 km/h electric target and the all-electric lap, the car is also the first in modern history to compete at Le Mans without traditional rear view mirrors. The Nissan ZEOD RC drivers are made aware what is happening behind them through a camera and integrated radar system – technologies that are being tested to further enhance road car systems like the Nissan Safety Shield.
Watch the Nissan ZEOD RC achieve the first-ever all-electric lap at Le Mans…