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ANDROS SPORT 01: ON THE CUTTING EDGE OF TECHNOLOGY

21.02.2019

The message came over loud and clear at the Trophée Andros event in the Stade de France: electric race cars are here to stay and have no trouble matching and beating regular petrol-driven cars.

And if any further proof was needed, this was demonstrated by Frank Lagorce and Aurélien Panis, who both beat the ICE (internal combustion engine) cars in the competition. Time to take a closer look at these cars, a work in progress still under development by Exagon in collaboration with Motul.

A quick chat with Exagon president Luc Marchetti taught us a lot about the Exagon Andros Sport 01 car, which was in such strong form this season.

ANDROS SPORT 01: ON THE CUTTING EDGE OF TECHNOLOGY

What is the concept behind the Andros Sport 01?

Well, the idea is that you should be able to swap out the V6 in a regular Andros Sport car for an electric unit. It’s a bit more complex than that in practice, but it is possible. The vehicle is still a prototype and we’re still experimenting and learning more and more about it every day.

What is the concept behind the Andros Sport 01?

What kind of technology is in the car?

The car has two electric motors. Together they produce around 300 horsepower. But that number was set by the FFSA because in reality we could reach as much as 500 bhp. Like the other Andros cars, it’s a four-wheel drive with four-wheel steering. The biggest difference of course, is that it lacks a gearbox and clutch, so it does require a bit of a different driving style.

How experimental is this car?

It’s one big experiment, to be honest, because we’re working right at the cutting edge of technology here. We’re working with Exagon to develop the battery packs, but not the motors. Those are purchased off the shelf from a manufacturer in the UK. The battery we’re developing for this car is a new sort of battery that is very different from any other battery in an electric-powered car on the market today. The battery in the Andros Sport 01 has a liquid-cooled battery pack and actually it’s so experimental that even the welding device we’re using to manufacture it is a prototype - there are only four of them on the whole planet. We’re also co-developing the coolant for the battery with Motul, who have produced an experimental fluid for our batteries, and together we’re constantly looking at power delivery, cooling, efficiency and – above all – weight.

What kind of technology is in the car?

How deep is the collaboration with Motul?

Motul is definitely more than just a sticker on our car. We’ve had a very strong technical partnership with Motul for over ten years. Our engineers are constantly working with Motul to develop this technology and the battery coolant fluid. Due to the nature of this battery pack, the battery cells float in the fluid, so naturally the fluid is a hugely important part of the equation.

How deep is the collaboration with Motul?

To tell us more about the development and the input from Motul, Joseph Charlot, Motul’s Technical expert, chimes in.

“We started to develop our EV and Hybrid products and the coolant fluid in particular way back when we were working on Mugen’s Shinden motorbike project, and we even provided technical support for a Formula-E team for a short while. But the development of the technology really started to pick up pace when we began collaborating with Exagon.

What is special about this battery pack is that the coolant is in direct contact with the battery cells so it has to be a non-conductive fluid. Most battery packs have fuel cells which are covered in a silicone layer so there is no contact with the cells themselves and you can use a regular coolant. The goal behind that direct contact between the cells and the fluid is to provide much better cooling efficiency and better battery performance.

At Motul we’re always looking to reinvent ourselves and find new products for the future, so this is a very important partnership for us.”

To tell us more about the development and the input from Motul, Joseph Charlot, Motul’s Technical expert, chimes in.
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