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back to article Electric racer hits the track

Swiss outfit Green GT whipped the dust sheets off its leccy racer at the recent Swiss Show of Renewable Energy and New Technologies. GreenGT1 Green GT's leccy racer: will do 170mph Called GreenGT, the FIA-specification track car has a carbon fibre chassis and fibreglass body that’s home to two water-cooled 100kW electric …

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Dead Vulture

What are these...

....strange "Pounds" you speak of? Being born a mere 3 and a half decades ago, I stuggle with this foreign language...

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Silver badge

All well and good...

...but can it do more than two laps? Top speed (which you mention so many times) is nothing without cornering speed, and neither of those are worth anything if you can only manage them for five minutes.

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Thumb Down

Enduro racing

It'll be interesting to see how an electric car would compete in the Le Mans Series where the races are generally between 5 and 6 hours long with the "classics" (Le Mans itself, Sebring etc) being 12 or 24 hours. Unless electric cars' pace and time spent stationary is similar to other LMP2 cars, the ACO must create a separate category and resist the temptation of creating false parity by penalising petrol and diesel cars or else any success that electric cars win would appear worthless to the public and worse than that the renaissance of sports prototype racing we were starting to see come about could be harmed. Experimental electric cars are totally within the spirit of Le Mans but could be a bad thing for the racing unless a dedicated category is created.

(I'm the one cheering on Gulf Lola Aston Martin for the overall win next month.)

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Bronze badge

weight/endurance

So races could last "up to" 45 minutes depending on conditions. With 60KWh on board, then that's equiavalent to about 80KW average assuming 100% efficiency, or full power for about 40% of the time. Given that Li-Ion batteries lose capacity over a number of charge/discharge cycles then I think that, combined with other thermodynamic losses, means that 45 mins must be very much the absolute maximum and most will be a lot shorter. Of copurse if these things had regenerative braking, then that could make a substantial different, but there is not mention of that. In any case, these are heavy beasts - a Formula 1 car with comes in at about 70% of this mass including the driver. Adding a full regenerative braking system would add even more and, as various F1 teams have found, can make a mess of the balance of the car in braking.

The solar-powered electronics are a gimmick. The contribution they make to the overall power consumption of the car will be negligible.

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Anonymous Coward

Racing is such a small sector...

I really wouldn't care if they pumped out 100 tons of CO2 per lap. Since it happens now and then with a few cars.

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@AC 11:04

I too was born three and a half decades ago, however I seem to remember that pounds are some sort of primitive measure of mass, or weight or something.

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Happy

Sprint and Hillclimb

Im surprised ther is not more interest in Sprints and Hillclimbs from the Lecy-Tec boys. Surley the relativley short duration, usually 4 runs each under 2 mins, would make the ideal place to showcase electric race cars. Places like Prescot and Selsley Walsh are come of the oldest morotsport venues in the world and the chance to set a hill record in a leccy car must be tempting.

The high torque characterisitcs of leccy cars would be ideally suited to this and weight would less of an issue due to less batteries needed for short runs.

I have run an Elise in these events for years so would find a fully sponsored Tesla an easy transition.......so....can I have one please......

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Where the energy comes from

At least they're actually thinking a bit about where that electricity comes from for once instead of just touting electric vehicles as a panacea while entirely disregarding that a coal-fired power station produced 3 times as much CO2 to get you down the shops (or round the track) as a petrol combustion engine would have.

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Boffin

I've been waiting for this.

I've been waiting for the electric racers. When battery capacity gets 'there', the electrics will be able to spank the dead fuels. Once it happens we will be seeing a need for better tires and suspensions to plant the power to the track.

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Silver badge

2 x 30kWh

1 litre of 4-star contains about 10kWh of energy, so that's roughly equivalent to 6 litres of fuel. Even if the electric motor were able to deliver 5x the efficiency of a petrol engine, I don't think that will carry it the full distance of an F1 race. And pit stops to recharge might be somewhat lengthy ...

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Happy

Pounds

For the younger readers -- pounds is what MP's love to aquire by claiming for having thier moat dug out or thier hubbies watching porn.

They are also an archaic measurement still used in primitive cultures.

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Coat

Hang on a minute....

Solar powered tyre-warmers?

So we capture the sun's light (inefficient), convert it to electricity (inefficient) and then turn it back into heat (inefficient).

How about we just put the tyres in a sunny spot and turn around every so often?

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Happy

@David Wiernicki

"...but can it do more than two laps?"

Reaches for fag packet... Well a 2008 LMP2 car at Le Mans was allowed an 80L fuel tank. Each litre is worth about 32M Joules or 8.889 KWh. A tankful is therefore 711 KWh. However, infernal combustion is only 25% efficient at getting energy to the wheels, 75% goes as heat so 711 KWh in the tank is worth 178 KWh at the wheels. An electric drive train can be 90% efficient so 178 KWh at the wheels would require 197 KWh in the batteries. The GreenGT has 30% of that.

The LMP2 class winning car at La Sarthe in 2008 (Van Merksteijn Motorsport, Porsche RS Spyder) completed 354 laps with 30 pit stops so 31 full tanks. Therefore they did on average 11.4 laps per tank. 30% of 11.4 is 3.5.

So yes, it should do more than 2 laps even at a course as big as Le Mans. It should be able to do three full laps.

The VMM Porsche was stationary for 49 mis and 43 seconds which is 99 seconds per stop. So Green GT would need to cram about 200KWh onboard with no increase in weight and be able to change or charge the batteries in less than 99 seconds to be competitive at Le Mans. Some way to go then.

Interesting question though.

Sources mostly http://www.withouthotair.com/, www.unitconversion.org and www.lemans.org

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Anonymous Coward

@dracotrapnet

WTF are you talking about? Tyres and suspension are improving year on year. In most racing series where power output is artificially restricted lap times continue improving for one simple reason, tyres and chassis tech are improving. Indeed in classes where power output is controlled and control tyres are madated lap times still improve, domonstratic that chassis tech gets better year on year.

You also have some interesting ideas on the relative performance of IC and Leccy cars. The regulations of th vast majority of classes are carefully designed in order to make sure they are competitive. You won't simply be able to bring along an electic car and enter it in a class where, for example, the rules stipulated a four cylinder, four stroke, normally aspirated, spark ignition engine of a maximum capacity of 2 litres running 95 octane pump fuel.

The only significant time I've seen this fudged to allow an "unfair" advantage is where diesels have been unrestricted turbo boost in some classes while spark ignition cars had to have normal aspiration. This was just a bit of PR for diesel. "Hey look a diesel engine is faster than a petrol engine." Of course if the petrol engine was also allowed to run a turbo at unlimitted boost it would be a different story. Who recalls the days of the 1.5 litre turbo F1 cars?

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Lee

Been thinking...

..hasn't no one though of a continuously charging system yet, like those old lights with the wheel driven gyro?!?

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