In February this year, Nissan Motor Company chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn declared that one of his company's ambitions was to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race using electric power. Just 33 weeks later, the Japanese carmaker has unveiled the fulfillment of that goal, rolling out the Nissan ZEOD RC at the Nismo headquarters in Yokohama yesterday. ZEOD stands for "Zero Emissions on Demand."
According to Nissan, the newly minted ZEOD RC will race at Le Mans next year. The car's prototype was displayed at this year's edition of the long-running motorsport event.
"The ZEOD RC utilizes our technology gained through the development of the Nissan Leaf Nismo RC, the first EV racer based on the mass-production zero-emission vehicle," said Nismo president Shoichi Miyatani. The Leaf RC's energy management and efficient energy recovery system are just examples. We believe these technologies serve as important steps for using EV for motorsports."
The ZEOD RC is said to become the first car to complete an entire race lap of the Le Mans circuit on "nothing but electric power, expected to reach speeds in excess of 300kph and lap the famous French circuit faster than an LM GTE car."
The driver, says Nissan in a press statement, "will be able to switch between electric power and a small lightweight turbocharged internal combustion engine. The car--which shares the same battery technology as the Nissan Leaf--will recharge the battery via regenerative braking."
We can't wait to see how this will fare against the conventionally powered competition.