Nissan's electric Le Mans racer

The Nissan ZEOD RC will race at the 2014 Le Mans 24 hours with an electric powertrain

Nissan announced at Le Mans that it will enter 2014’s race with an experimental car that will use electric power. The ZEOD RC will utilise lithium battery technology seen in the Nissan Leaf and will be capable of 186mph-plus.

Although the racer has no direct links to the much acclaimed DeltaWing, it does share the same chief designer, Ben Bowlby, and strongly resembles its predecessor, although various design changes including a newly closed cockpit to meet new rules.

Subscribe to evo magazine

evo is 21 and to celebrate, we're returning to 1998 prices! Subscribe now to SAVE 39% on the shop price and get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £25!

No drivetrain configuration has been confirmed, but one hurdle engineers will have to overcome is range. Nissan is considering a system where the vehicle runs purely electric for only part of the race, using a conventional petrol engine the rest, while a combined hybrid system is another option. 'ZEOD' stands for Zero Emission On Demand, all but confirming the car will not run on electricity alone.

Following the success of last weekend’s 2013 Le Mans 24 hours, where Nissan-powered cars took four of the top 10 LMP2 places, an ‘extensive testing programme’ is scheduled to take place over the next 12 months before this entry – which will operate from garage 56, reserved for experimental entries – competes in the round-the-clock race. In the long term Nissan is targeting a fully-fledged electric LMP1 racer to challenge Audi, Porsche and Toyota.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Following the success of hybrid powertrains in recent years some believe the next logical step is pure electrical drive. Nevertheless this is still a controversial topic, with heavyweights such as Toyota suggesting fuel cell technology could be the next step. Either way it looks like Le Mans has a bright, if not slightly quieter future ahead.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/sports-cars/202115/porsche-ditches-four-cylinder-for-flat-six-in-cayman-and-boxster-gts
sports cars

Porsche ditches four-cylinder for flat-six in Cayman and Boxster GTS

New models eschew turbos with detuned 4-litre from the Spyder and GT4
15 Jan 2020
Visit/toyota/gt-86/202104/toyota-gt86-vs-mazda-mx-5-vs-abarth-124-spider-lightweight-sports-car-shootout
Toyota GT 86

Toyota GT86 vs Mazda MX-5 vs Abarth 124 Spider – lightweight sports car shootout

Three affordable sports cars from Japan and, er, Japan battle it out on the Yorkshire Dales
14 Jan 2020
Visit/news/202119/2020-geneva-motor-show-preview-what-to-expect-from-europes-most-important-auto-show
News

2020 Geneva motor show preview

Electrification will likely dominate proceedings, but Geneva will have plenty of performance metal to get excited about too
17 Jan 2020
Visit/hyundai/i30-n-hatchback/201775/hyundai-i30-n-versus-hyundai-i30-tcr
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N versus Hyundai i30 TCR

Can Dickie Meaden beat Steve Sutcliffe in a straight(ish) race? We sent them to the Circuit Nuvolari with a pair of Hyundai i30 Ns to find out.
20 Sep 2019