Their target is participating in the 24 Hours of Le Mans as a Garage 56 entry. But first the Dutch students of Eindhoven University of Technology revealed their development vehicle, an all-electric formula race car.
A team of 60 students from the Dutch university and Fontys Hogescholen have worked over one year to design and construct a battery-electric single seater, capable of reaching 285 km/h. It’s a testing vehicle to understand, fine-tune and develop the electric powertrain consisting of two Yasa-750 electric motors and a battery package that would be enough to complete a lap at the Nürburgring Nordschleife under eight minutes. It weighs just 658 kg and delivers 545 hp. Parts of the titanium suspension are 3D printed.
“Our Le Mans racer will consist of four electric motors, similar to the two motors we use in the KP&T IM/e prototype. It will have a small conventional engine onboard too, as it’s too soon to race the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a battery-powered vehicle. But the wheels will be powered electrically. It’s similar to the concept of the Chevrolet Volt,” Rogier de Rijk, Team Manager of InMotion, explaining the differences between the presented prototype and the future Le Mans racer.
Claiming the Garage 56 entry will be a challenge as another team has been awarded the ticket to race in the 2017 edition in one of the world’s most prestigious race events. “This year in June it became clear that a French team developing a car running on bio gas was already a few steps ahead of us as they had secured funding and realised the monocoque.
“We have yet to secure the funding to realise our dream and therefore we’ve developed this first electric formula car not only to test the technology, but also to showcase what we’ve got to potential sponsors,” de Rijk added.
Ambassador Jan Lammers
Jan Lammers, former Formula 1 driver and the 1988 winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, has embraced the project. “Look at these students. They’ve started from a clean sheet of paper, creating their dream and developing this vehicle. As racers, sometimes our knowledge can narrow our creativity but they prove this can be done otherwise,” Lammers said. The experienced race car driver is a keen supporter of various projects in the area of sustainable racing and competitions.
“It doesn’t matter what year they will take part. Whether it is 2018 or 2019, they would have another year to learn from this prototype in order to develop the Le Mans race car,” he said.
The InMotion students are targeting to better the lap record for electric vehicles at Circuit Park Zandvoort in spring 2016. The Nürburgring Nordschleife is their next target, attempting to lap the 20.8-kilometre track under seven minutes and 22 seconds. Jochen Krumbach currently holds this record for electric vehicles after a successful run with the Toyota TMG EV P002 in October 2012.