At the recent United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancún, Mexico, the Formulec EF01, an all-electric single-seater, was introduced. This vehicle was conceived to introduce a new, multi-chassis, international track-racing series in 2013. French company Segula Matra Technologies developed the car during the past 30 months.
Its powertrain consists of a pair of Siemens electric motors mated to a purpose-built, two-speed transmission developed by Hewland. The target is for on-track performance on par with the FIA Formula Three series, which is based on a 2.0-liter internal-combustion engine.
The rules for the racing series were not yet announced, in particular how battery replacement will be handled during the race and how many miles a vehicle will race. With a 60- to 90-minute recharging time, the SAFT lithium-ion batteries have sufficient energy for 20 to 25 minutes of racing.
The Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One team developed the monocoque frame and bodywork of the new car using a two-fifths scale model in its on-site wind tunnel in Brackley, England.
Michelin adapted new energy-saving tires to fit the power and torque of the motors. Jules Bianchi track-tested a prototype Formulec car at Magny-Cours and Alexandre Premat tested it on the Le Mans Bugatti circuit.
The car is capable of accelerating from 0 to 62 mph in three seconds and it has a top speed that exceeds 155 mph. The ART Grand Prix team will manage ongoing track testing. The Paris promoters plan a 10-event championship on five continents in 2012. [via autonews - sub. required]