The world of electric vehicles has certainly come a long way very quickly, the same can be said for hybrid technology. With the use of hybrid power units in hyper cars like the McLaren P1 and “the” Ferrari the idea of batteries in sports cars is becoming a more realistic idea across the board. Renault’s sport division seem to be happy to consider bringing it into their special road car range.
Motorsport and Electricity
It is not just hyper cars that are using batteries and electric motors to gain more power, Formula E cars don’t use anything else; and it’s Renault’s heavy involvement in this massively popular new championship that is fueling the idea further. Renaultsport is the performance arm of the famous French car maker and they are responsible for all the hot versions of the Megane and Clio we see, they are also responsible for all of Renault’s motorsport activities.
Patrice Ratti is the managing director and he has been quoted as saying hybrid power units could certainly play a part in future models mainly due to the lower CO2 emissions and the advantages that brings. He also mentioned electric motors on their own, and that these have enormous potential for acceleration but also need a lot of batteries to run them.
Ratti also said he felt we could see electric motors either as part of a hybrid system or on their own in Renaultsport cars in 5 to 10 years. This would all depend on how fast the technology advances, but more generally it is also likely to depend on infrastructure. No car maker will risk an electric sports car that will use a lot of power without the knowledge that charging points are common place.
The torque available from electric motors is always appealing to sports car makers because it offers the potential for massive acceleration as long as you can fit tyres that can take the strain. This is likely to be what pushes Renaultsport and other manufacturers to bring them into more run of the mill sports car over the next 3-5 years.