Zytek Automotive has been developing the KERS electric motor and power electronics used by the Vodafone McLarnen-Mercedes F1 team in their recent win in the Hungarian Grand Prix (earlier post)—the first victory for a KERS-equipped car—in close technical partnership with Mercedes-Benz HighPerformanceEngines.
The Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes team scored their first 2009 season grand prix victory with the KERS-equipped MP4-24. Driver Lewis Hamilton had qualified fourth, but made a strong start thanks to the additional power provided by the KERS system which enabled him to charge down to the first turn to take second place and continued a faultless drive to win his first grand prix of the season.
The KERS device enables the MP4-24 to recover energy under braking, store the energy for a lap and release it when the driver presses a button on the steering wheel. With a fully optimized KERS device’s output capped at 400 kJ (discharging 80 bhp boost for 6.7s per lap), there is a potential 0.3 - 0.5s gain per lap.
Zytek has a heritage in motorsport innovation and is also a leading specialist in hybrid and electric vehicle technologies for road cars. Recent efforts include a low-cost diesel hybrid concept and the smart fortwo eD, currently on fleet trials in London, which uses Zytek’s 55 kW electric drivetrain, designed and installed at the company’s Electric Vehicle technical center in Fradley, UK.