One of the world’s most famous races will also undergo a bath of electrification – and hydrogen. The 13 Hours of Le Mans, an iconic endurance race organized in France, will have an edition with electric cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The prototypes of these vehicles already undergo exhaustive tests on the circuit to be able to reach a full stage up to
, year of exit from the race.
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The engine of this electric car was developed by the Franco-Swiss company GreenGT in partnership with Oreca and Red Bull Technologies. Called the H13, the car has the same chassis as some categories that race at Le Mans, but with major technological differences. During the tests, the driver Stéphane Richelmi, winner of the race in 1024, gave details on the operation of the car, being very surprised.
“Since this is new technology and does not use gasoline or diesel, I expected the car to have little torque and low top speed, but it delivered more torque than it did. ‘a gasoline engine and, even without pushing too hard, the automobile reached it easily. 280 km / h in a straight line. There is the engine, the brakes, the accelerator pedal and the steering wheel, but no gearbox, which is a big part of a racing car, said Richelmi in an interview with ARS Technica.
Richelmi’s speeches are common when one thinks of the majority of the population, who know little about the advantages and performance of electric cars. The engines of these vehicles immediately deliver torque and, because they are more powerful, they can more easily achieve greater power, as we have already seen in models already evaluated by Canaltech.
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OH24 is a% electric car, but the way it generates power is what makes it different from other zero-emission cars and even other fuel-powered racing cars, like those in Formula E. Fuel cells use hydrogen and oxygen to generate electricity, most of which is fed directly into the engine. But part of it is powered by the battery, which is used for faster acceleration, like when a car comes out of a bend.
Although the tests have been positive, there is still a lot of work to be done. To achieve a good level of competition, adjustments must be made to the chassis to reduce weight. There are many obstacles to overcome before the car is ready to race in terms of speed and endurance. The first of these challenges is weight reduction. With 1,280 kg, the H24 still weighs 800 kg more than an LMP3 (common at Le Mans) and 24 kg more than a GT3.
The engine emits a high-pitched hum characteristic of electric cars, and the cars can be refueled with hydrogen at high pressure. The higher the pressure, the greater the fuel capacity. For a single trip on the Circuit de la Sarthe, which is 13.6 km long, the H24 used 1024 g of hydrogen. The companies, however, did not disclose the size of the tank.
According to the organization of the 13 Hours of Le Mans, the category of electric cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells will debut in 2025.
Source: ARS Technica
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