Before electric vehicles can ever truly go “mainstream,” automakers have got to figure out how to race them in an exciting fashion. The problem is that even the heaviest, most expensive batteries can only provide power for a few minutes of racing. But a clever idea that looks to classic slot cars for influence may give EV racers a competitive edge.
Batteries, as always, are the culprit, as current battery technology is too expensive and too heavy to be practical for racing, offering just a few minutes of power before needing to be recharged. It seems like an insurmountable problem until some miracle battery appears, but Drayson Racing Technologies and HaloIPT (both of whom we have extensively covered here at Gas 2.0) has a better idea; charge racing EVs as they go around the track. Ok, so its not exactly like slot car racing…but it is closer enough.
Inductive power transfer technology, or wireless charging, has been making big progress in the past year in regards to charging the large batteries of EV’s. Drayson imagines a track where wireless energy transfer devices are implanted, powering EV’s as they race around the track. Presumably, this means the end of refueling, allowing EV’s to race without interruption. Now that is an exciting race (though you’d still have to swap out tires every now and then.) When/if it does happen though, it will have competition from both the EV Cup and the EV-only racing series that Nissan is putting together.
Of course the downside is a massive investment into track infrastructure, and it’d probably be cheaper to just build an EV racing track from the ground up. But it could also signal a new era in motorsports…and personal mobility.
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.