Lord Drayson and his Electric Racing Car

Motorsport

A former British Minister of Science and Innovation is presenting the world’s fastest electric racing car.

If you ever wondered why hybrid and electric cars have been having trouble gaining popularity among drivers, then you needn't look further than their motorsport involvement, which actually nil. As far as we know there are no racing series for hybrid cars, though there are attempts to establish racing series for electric cars. One of those, the Formula E, is promoted by the FIA, the world motorsport governing body.

And one of the first entrepreneurs to jump on that bandwagon is Lord Paul Drayson, a former British Minister of Science and Innovation. As befitting his former title and his current involvement in motorsport, through Drayson Technologies and Drayson Racing, the Lord launched last month the Lola-Drayson B12/69EV, an 850hp electric racing car. It will take part in the Formula E championship next year. "When you use the latest technology which is available for electric cars, really applying the know how that the UK motorsport industry has, you can produce something which is really quite extraordinary," Lord Drayson told the BBC.

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Drayson Racing and Lola cars incorporated the prototype's advanced technologies such as lithium-ion batteries with wireless charging capability, carbon-fiber parts that also store electric energy, and moveable bodywork parts that influence drag and down force. The lithium-ion batteries are supplied by A123 and they are designed to deliver high power and higher energy density cells that are capable of discharging at high rates, while maintaining safety. British firm Mavizen is developing an intelligent wireless Battery Management System (BMS) to embed a new distributed architecture that enhances state management capability.

This reduces implementation costs while increasing the safety and performance envelope. The "structural batteries" are a development of BAE System. They are nickel based and their energy density is poor. On the racing car they will be used to operate a few onboard systems. "Electric racing represents a considerable new business opportunity for motorsport and underlines the growing commercial potential of green racing and technology," said Lord Drayson. "Our main aim is to prove that an electric powered LMP car can lap as fast, if not faster than a conventionally powered car and to show how exciting an 850 horsepower, 200 mph++ electric car is on track."

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