Using the same lithium battery technology as the Nissan Leaf, and capable of
speeds in excess of 180mph, the zero emission Nissan ZEOD RC will be used to
develop electric drivetrain technology, which will then race in 2014 Le Mans 24
Hour in the LM P1 prototype class.
Making the announcement ahead of the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hour, Nissan will
debut the car at next year's race.
The name ZEOD RC stands for Zero Emission On Demand Racing Car and will
see the Japanese company return to LM P1 competition in the world's most
prestigious endurance race.
Nissan's invitation from the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) to compete in the
2014 Le Mans 24 Hours was announced by Nissan Chairman and CEO, Carlos
Ghosn in Japan in February. The car will compete under the ACO's 'Garage 56'
entry - an additional spot on the grid for vehicles that showcase new and
Run as an international full factory Nissan/Nismo program, it will have input from
Japan, Europe and the US, with the design team headed by Ben Bowlby who
was recently appointed as Nissan's Director of Motorsport Innovation, having
previously worked on the Nissan DeltaWing program in 2012.
The ZEOD RC program will test multiple options, including a Zero Emission on
Demand option, where the driver can switch between electric and gasoline-
powered drive that will be tested in addition to pure electric power and other
technologies under development.
While current battery technology does not provide the energy storage capacity to
race a solely electric Le Mans prototype, Nissan ZEOD RC designer Ben Bowlby
believes the development of the car will be an important step in the electrification
of future racecars.
Nissan will partner with Michelin to produce tires for the new prototype since they
have an enviable record at the Le Mans 24 Hour, winning the past 15
consecutive races overall.