Today, the resurgence of electric cars is very much apparent but, interestingly, whereas the early days of motoring were filled with pioneer racers, the new crop of EVs is mostly aimed at road users. However, there are electric racing series in existence, most notably electric bikes which battle each year at the Isle of Mann TTXGP. Their championship is called FIM eRoadRacing and incorporates several electric bike teams from around the world, each using different battery and motor technology.
Of course on four wheels, there will be the inaugural season of FIA Formula E, starting in September, which should eventually aid the development of electric cars too, but as yet developments are limited since each of the cars are the same for the first competition year.
Racing is proven to push boundaries and increase creativity in order to win races and get the most out of the mechanicals. As such, FIM eRoadRacing has been of great benefit to the improvement of electric bikes, and cars, for the past few years and this is self evident in their lap times and average speeds above all else.
Back on four wheels, aside from Formula E and a handful of other noteworthy exceptions, electric cars have remained relatively absent from motorsport. As such, it is an intriguing prospect for one company in particular to venture into.
Two of the key figures who introduced Tesla Motors to the Australian market have teamed up to develop a high performance electric powered race car for international exhibition and racing in Europe and Asia. Together, the duo have founded “eV Race Systems”.
Internode founder Simon Hackett, who bought Australia’s first Tesla Roadster in 2009, and Rudi Tuisk, Tesla Australia’s former director and key global motorsport protagonist, aim to put their first electric race cars on the track later this year.
Rudi, who is based in Sydney, has been the architect and technical director behind the design for this exciting new class of electric racing while Simon has provided seven-figure bootstrap funding to get the concept on to the starting grid. Simon Hackett says Australia could play a key role in both the design and engineering of high performance electric vehicles.
“Electric vehicles represent a sunrise industry in which Australia can be a real leader. Australia has convenient proximity to Asia for cell supply and access to innovative and exceptionally talented engineers. As we’re saying goodbye to Toyota, Ford and Holden assembly plants, Australia has the opportunity to embrace and invest in EV (Electric Vehicle) technology that can underpin new local manufacturing in coming decades.”
Perhaps top of the priorities for any race car is its performance, and the car that eV Race Systems are working on doesn’t disappoint. Aiming for a 1,000 kilo mass with a 400KW electric motor giving 800Nm Torque should give the vehicle accelerative power enough to reach 200 km/h in less than eight seconds. Rudi commented:
The 1000kg eV Race Systems car with 400 KW and 800 Nm Torque will accelerate from a standing start to 200 km/h in less than eight seconds. Rudi, who was Tesla Motors’ Chief Technician in Europe and Asia Pacific during his five years with the revolutionary company, said eV Race Systems aimed to deliver a “rule-breaking race car”. He continued:
“At Tesla, we pushed the boundaries of EV technology in many environments and race circuits. At eV Race Systems, we’re out to develop and deliver the most exciting race car to drive and the most exciting race car to watch. To use motorsport as an emotional lever, you need a car that’s very fast, convincing and extremely exciting; action packed! We’ve spent the past year designing just such a vehicle, with some of the best engineers in the world. We are very excited by the data we are seeing right now. The DNA of our car makes it super-exciting to drive. We’ve designed an action-packed, versatile, extremely powerful car that will provide awesome motorsport performance.”
So when will all this be put to the test? eV Race Systems aims to have five prototype racing electric cars ready for demonstration events later this year. Rudi believes the development of such a vehicle will aid strong business growth in that sector for the next decade at least, stating:
“We should expect to see significant multiples of value in this space. We look forward to releasing more information as it become as available.”
Aside from the desired outputs of the car, details are being kept well hidden for the meantime. The looks, range and other important questions are all up in the air but the promise for the car is great.
Source; eV Race Systems
Photo: Venturi Formula E electric race car at Donington Park