One in Three US Public Schools in Proximity to Major Highways and Pollutants
Automakers Introduce “EcoDriving” National Fuel Use/CO2 Reduction Program

Lithium Technology Corp. In Marketing Agreement for Li-ion Batteries for Advanced Motor Sports

The Li-ion-based PHEV Apollo racer. Click to enlarge.

Following the performance of their plug-in hybrid electric race car concept at the Nürburgring 24 hour race (ADAC Zurich 24h-Rennen) in May (earlier post), Lithium Technology Corporation (LTC) and Hybrid Racing AG have entered into an agreement to market specialized lithium-ion batteries to power advanced vehicles for the motor sports industry. The applications will include batteries for cars, boats and planes to be used in consumer and professional racing vehicles.

LTC supplied a 9 kWh GAIA battery pack comprising 90 high power 27 Ah cells connected in series for the Apollo/HHF Hybrid race car (HHCC). The battery was charged prior to the race and recouped energy from braking during the race. Current electric range of the vehicle is 50 kilometers.

The HHCC is equipped with a 3.3-liter V8 bi-turbo gasoline engine augmented with a 100 kW electric motor. The engine has rated power of 382 kW (520 hp) at 7,000 rpm, and maximum torque of 580 Nm (428 lb-ft) at 4,000 rpm. The motor delivers torque of 220 Nm (162 lb-ft)  Total available power from the hybrid is 630 hp (470 kW). Maximum speed is 300 kph (186 mph).

The battery pack was sized to allow the car to do a lap on the Nürburgring (25 km) relying on electrical power only. Hybrid Racing raced the car with the battery at a medium charge level, providing about 4-5 kWh of battery capacity.

This meant that if we had transmission problems at the beginning of a lap, we would be forced/able to return to the pit stop at a very low speed of < 50 kph. If this happened 6-8 km before the end of a lap then it was possible to reach the pit stop under full electric power going at up to 130 kph.

—Heinz-Harald Frentzen, President of Hybrid Racing AG

At the Nürburgring 24, the HHCC did suffer technical problems with its conventional powertrain, and finished the race solely propelled by the electric motor.

You can look at the results from one of two perspectives: Firstly, that we had problems with the transmission in the conventional system, and secondly, that the concept of reclaiming energy when braking was more successful than we expected.

—Heinz-Harald Frentzen

The large-format 3.6V, 27 Ah GAIA cells in the HHCC pack have a specific energy of 100 Wh/kg and energy density of 264 Wh/L; with specific power (30 s pulse discharge) of 950 W/kg and a power density (30 s pulse discharge) of 2,100 W/L. Cycle life at 20°C and 100% DOD is 400 cycles to 80% nominal capacity.

During test runs on the Nürburgring under observation of DMSB/FIA, the battery temperatures stayed below 60°C. Every braking operation was recovered and the recovered energy released again during acceleration.

With several more months experience with the battery technology, Frentzen, an ex-Formula One (F1) racer and 1997 vice world champion, decided that there was an immediate need for LTC’s products in the advanced motor sports world.

We are confident with [LTC’s] power and energy solutions and are excited to form an extended partnership with a company that will not only meet our battery needs, but will help motor sports to regain its position in the forefront of technical development and push the advancements of cars outside of the racetrack to be more energy efficient. We are going to promote and market LTC’s batteries to all vehicles that require advanced batteries that are light weight and powerful for improved performance.

—Heinz-Harald Frentzen

LTC manufactures a range of cells with two different types of chemistries, iron-phosphate and nickel-cobalt.



nurburgring is an awesome benchmark for a car's performance, if only they had an electric car to compete against the GTR time of 7 min and 29 seconds, then we be talking about smoking all forms of ICE cars.


on another note i'm surprised telsa roadster hasn't tried to compete or at least see what kind of time they can pull on the ring, i guess they didn't want to know the truth that their electric car is only a torquey machine and not a wonder on the handling department...


The more hybrids in motorsports, the more on the streets. This is good news.


The "Ring" is a difficult track for a car designed for the street, like the Tesler. It would take a great deal of engineering and modifications to get it to perform on the track...camber adjustments, wide race tires, roll cage, special sized battery to run wide open for 8 miles...just to name a few. However, having said that, I strongly support the idea to make it happen! BTW, the latest Chevy Z06 beat the Nissan GTR by about 3 seconds.

I think is great that they are considering the electric drivetrain but why pick a battery that has a power density of only 950 W/Kg. Instead, they should try A123 Systems batteries (3000 W/Kg) or Altair Nano.


thanks for the replay lad, i just thought with 200 miles of range charge on the epa, it could have at least given 12 miles of it for the ring. I guess its just not enough!

hmm it's nice car


Agreed, 950 W/kg is rubbish when Altair cells can manage >4kW/kg, thousands of cycles and 100% utilisation of available charge.

Franklin E. Fraitus

I see the posts above, critical of the battery choice. Just a guess here, but the choice may be due to other factors, such as maximum charge/discharge amperage. Or they may be for safety/thermal reasons. It seems to me that a battery pack powering a 100KW motor is "working hard" in a race car situation.


In terms of handling, Tesla roadster should be very good, it's basically a Lotus.

As for the straight line speed, Tesla roadster would stand no chance competing against latest Corvette Z06 or Nissan GT-R.

Both Z06 and GT-R have top speed between 190 and 200 mph, while Tesla's is 125 mph.

In my opinion, the way to beat GT-R or Z06 on track with an electric car (for lap record only, no chance to compete 24 hrs, too many stops would be needed to swap batteries), with available technologies, would be to build it as an AWD, with 2 induction motors currently used in Tesla, one for rear, one for front wheels, possibly the front one a little smaller.
The car should be built on some high performance platform, preferably the one that is already AWD, with modifications suggested by Lad above.

A lower cost one could be built on Infiniti G35x (AWD) platform, or if price wouldn't be an issue, then built it on Audi R8 (also AWD) platform.

Or build a high performance car with 4 powerful in-wheel motors.
I'm not sure if it would be possible to liquid-cool in-wheel motors, very likely it would be needed for high performance. Handling could also be inferior with such wheels.


Advancement in battery technology is very encouraging because one of the chief perceived drawbacks of the EV is their range which is viewed as limited or inadequate and which is what makes EVs a less viable option for many.

The comments to this entry are closed.