Panoz Pure Electric DeltaWing To Race At Le Mans

JUL 24 2015 BY MARK KANE 5


ZEOD RC At Le Mans

All-electric DeltaWing GT for Le Mans is the new goal for Don Panoz and its DeltaWing Racing team.

We already saw a plug-in hybrid version developed by Nissan – Zero Emission On Demand, which could go one lap in all-electric mode, but a pure electric car would be something new.

There is no magic battery chemistry that would allow the car to complete the long race, so Panoz is considering battery swap after 50 minutes, some 30 times in total during the 24-hour race.

“Panoz, who introduced hybrid-assisted power to the legendary French endurance race in 1998 with the Reynard-built Q9 chassis (LEFT), wants to revisit the topic using his upcoming DeltaWing GT chassis and all-electric propulsion. Through a partnership with Georgia Institute of Technology, Panoz’s Braselton, Georgia-based company is six months into a development program that would marry compact direct-drive electric motors to the DeltaWing GT chassis with the stated goal of competing at Le Mans without an internal combustion engine.”

Interesting is that they plan to develop their own electric motors.


Categories: Racing


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5 Comments on "Panoz Pure Electric DeltaWing To Race At Le Mans"

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Good luck to them, but I wouldn’t expect much. Making the batteries swappable means they all but certainly won’t be integral to the chassis. That’s a pretty chunky component to have to route chassis stresses around.

Direct drive motor?
As for battery swapping in a racing context, that would be something to watch.

You could have the battery be integral to the structure but still removable, it just makes it a bigger engineering problem. Perhaps the bigger concern is the fact that they probably won’t be allowed to rip up their pit lane to do switching from beneath like Tesla. It’d be very tight for space, but I can imagine a scenario where a rig has arms that reach beneath the car to unbolt a dozen or more bolts all at the same time. Once unbolted the battery slides out sideways onto the rig above the replacement battery. The rig then lifts up and the replacement battery slides in and bolts in.

Cumbersome yes, difficult yes, possible yes.

Presuming center-ish rear, remove nosecone, lift rear of car to 30 degrees, remove 12-ish bolts, lower car, release package clamp lever to drop onto dolly, roll-out old, roll in new, engage package clamp, tilt to 30 degrees, replace 12-ish bolts, lower, replace nose, go.
is how I see it.

No wonder the use direct drive.
It will free room for the battery where you usually get the axle for the rear wheels.
This way they would slide-out the depleted battery pack and slide-in the new one.