Electric racing: should it be at Le Mans?

All that development and prep work for 23 minutes of racing...is it worth it?

Electric racing: should it be at Le Mans?

The Nissan ZEOD is currently listed as off at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which is sort of funny considering the timing in which it occurred. Television coverage showed the car pulling off short of 24 minutes…

One can only think about what this failure means to the bigger picture of (almost) all-electric racing.*

To me it’s a metaphor for the whole hybrid, power unit, battery powered, electric movement. The car didn’t make it 24 minutes let alone 24 hours.

When the FIA came down with these regulations, rumor has it both Audi and Porsche had serious issues developing their cars…at the cost of completely destroying a chassis each. And that is just Hybrid technology, which has been in road cars for years.

The first few races of the season have been rather successful for the hybrid systems however, but one can only guess they are running super conservatively early on.

Formula One is in a weird place right now with its silenced Hybrid cars coupled with the regulations creating phallic noses on the cars…

#0 Nissan Motorsports Global Nissan Zeod RC: Lucas Ordonez, Wolfgang Reip, Satoshi Motoyama
#0 Nissan Motorsports Global Nissan Zeod RC: Lucas Ordonez, Wolfgang Reip, Satoshi Motoyama

Photo by: James Holland

Then there is the fully electric movement, which is primarily represented by the Nissan ZEOD taking up Garage 56…an entry into today’s 24 Hours of Le Mans reserved for a team with technology under development, and Formula E.

We have seen how the race worked for the ZEOD. After a week of testing, and weeks during its initial development, it managed to almost hit the 24-minute mark.

This brings me to the last big electric venture of 2014…Formula E.

Having spoken with Alejandro Agag earlier this year, I know the series plans on doing a complete dress rehearsal before they run an official event. This seems like a good idea. Despite this, I think the first season will see incredibly high reliability issues, and races full of attrition. Just finishing will be key.

I suppose this is all supposed to be for the betterment of technology of our roads, but does it really take lackluster performances in some of the biggest races on the planet to develop this technology? What if the ZEOD had taken out another car?

I think I will stick to my petrol engines for now. In fact I bought myself a 66cc two-stroke engine to strap to something fun…but that’s for another story.

  • to be able to ensure momentum to be able to charge its batteries, the ZEOD has a small light petrol engine on board.
shares
comments
The ACO and FIA sign an extension of their agreements regarding the World Endurance Championship

Previous article

The ACO and FIA sign an extension of their agreements regarding the World Endurance Championship

Next article

No. 3 Audi and No. 8 Toyota involved in major crash - video

No. 3 Audi and No. 8 Toyota involved in major crash - video
Load comments
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Prime

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far Prime

What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far

The new dawn for the FIA World Endurance Championship has arrived at Le Mans, as Hypercars prepare to duel for victory in the world's oldest endurance race. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 things we have learned in the build up to the race.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide Prime

Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide

After a two-month delay due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours is set to get underway with the start of the Hypercar era at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
The ex-F1 drivers making a name for themselves in LMP2 at Le Mans Prime

The ex-F1 drivers making a name for themselves in LMP2 at Le Mans

Kevin Magnussen will make his Le Mans 24 Hours debut this weekend alongside father Jan in LMP2. But the Danes won't be the only ex-F1 drivers to appear in the hotly contested category this year.

Le Mans
Aug 20, 2021
Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse? Prime

Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse?

One Toyota, normally with the number 7 on the side, always seems to attract the bad luck in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez are hoping for a change in fortune this time around, but face significantly more unknowns than in recent years

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021
How to prepare an amateur for Le Mans sensory overload Prime

How to prepare an amateur for Le Mans sensory overload

The 23-car GTE Am field promises to be one of the most open in this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, with the added jeopardy of managing the enthusiasm of amateur drivers to boot, as Absolute Racing Porsche driver Marco Seefried explains

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021
Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow Prime

Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow

Many were quick to dismiss Glickenhaus when the boutique American sportscar firm's entry into the top class of the Le Mans 24 Hours was announced. It's all-new LMH racer, powered by an engine built by a rally specialist, goes in as the underdog against Toyota but the mathematical odds suggest that it has more than just a faint hope of success.

Le Mans
Aug 18, 2021
How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car Prime

How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car

The JW Automotive Engineering team won twice at the Le Mans 24 Hours with ageing Fords and was considered the heavy favourite to add more victories to its tally after partnering with Porsche. But despite being armed with the all-conquering 917, this formidable combination was never as successful in real life as on the big screen.

Le Mans
Aug 15, 2021