Electric vehicles (EVs) are increasingly finding their way into the world's most prestigious and competitive race tracks. While advances in technology have yet to allow fully electric vehicles to successfully compete alongside gas-powered ones, EVs are making strides toward outpacing their traditional counterparts.
The best evidence of this may be the Nissan ZEOD RC, which will be entered in the 2014 Le Mans Garage 56, a racing competition that showcases innovative, experimental vehicles.
"Nissan has already been out with a fully electric road-going vehicle, the Leaf, and now we're taking it to the next level by doing a full lap at Le Mans," said Rick Kulach, spokesperson for Nissan U.S. Motorsports. "A lap at Le Mans is eight and half miles, so we decided there has to be a way to make it work."
While Nissan avoids the dreaded h-word, hybrid, the ZEOD RC operates on both battery and fuel power. "The ZEOD features regenerative battery charging," said Kulach. "The vehicle is lightweight and efficient, so that a number of laps can be run in fuel mode, and then the final lap range will be extended under pure electric power."