ROCKINGHAM, England (September 8th, 2011) – Robin Brundle, Managing Director of Lola Cars, and Drayson Racing Technologies founder, Lord Paul Drayson, announced details of the groundbreaking Lola-Drayson B12/69EV all-electric prototype racer at the Northamptonshire 2011 Cenex LCV event.
One of the key technical features of the project will be the use of Dynamic Suspensions Energy Recovery Dampers (DSERD) developed by Multimatic’s UK Engineering Centre.
Based on Lola’s race-winning LMP1 class coupe, the B12/69 EV has been conceived as a time attack car to demonstrate the speed potential of an EV by lapping circuits faster than current LMP1 diesels.
“Our main aim is to prove that an electric powered LMP car can lap as fast, if not faster than a conventionally powered car,” said Brundle. “And to show how exciting an 850 horsepower, 200mph electric car is on track.”
Similar to the concept of regenerative braking, whereby deceleration energy is stored rather than dissipated, Multimatic’s DSERD technology converts road input energy into electricity that is stored in a capacitor for later use. The DSERD is unique in that it utilizes a proprietary configuration of mechanical and electrical machine elements to create a rotary device with a substantial motion ratio that generates high fidelity damper characteristics. The system also facilitates motoring functionality which provides force authority over the suspension system when appropriate thus allowing a partial active regime which can be run with zero energy consumption through the use of the stored energy.
The system can also be used to provide additional propulsion or to power other systems on a car, such as the active aerodynamic arrangement that will be featured on the B12/69 EV.
“Basically, we utilize a unique mechanism to convert the reciprocal movement of the damper into rotary motion of an integral motor/generator,” said Multimatic Vice President Larry Holt. “And the resultant electrical energy is stored for later use.”
The partnership on the B12/60 EV program came about through Multimatic’s long term relationship with Lola Cars and the Canadian company’s reputation for continually innovating advanced vehicle technologies.
“Three years ago we started work on regenerative dampers as an independent internal research and development project,” said Holt. “Then I was in a meeting with Robin about something completely unrelated and he told me about the racing EV concept. He asked if Multimatic had anything that could be used on the car and I told him we did. Robin knew nothing about our DSERD technology when he told me about the Drayson program.”
The chance to apply the technology to a race car was an opportunity too good to pass up for Multimatic, who have regularly used motorsports to accelerate the development of various technologies, including their Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve (DSSV) dampers as used in Formula 1, DTM, Sportscar and numerous GT categories.
“I thanked Robin for introducing a hard deadline,” said Holt. “There really is nothing like motorsports timelines to get a technology developed.”
The B12/69 EV is intended to be a demonstration platform for Multimatic’s DSERD Technology and a host of other innovations including sustainable materials, wireless charging, structural batteries and moveable aerodynamics.
“Cutting edge innovation and an emphasis on sustainable and clean power are the key elements of the Lola-Drayson B12/69EV all-electric LMP demonstrator,” said Lord Drayson. “Everyone involved in the project is committed to combining ultra high performance with ground breaking innovation and the development of new green technologies.”
The B12/69 EV is currently not legal for participation in events like the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, but the car will be at the same track contemporary Diesel LMP1 cars race at with the aim of breaking their lap records.