Some of the major auto manufacturers are seeing the potential in golf cart sized NEVs and French manufacturer Renault launched the Twitzy last year. This is the Renault Twizy F1 concept which has advanced technology culled from the world of Formula 1 racing.
The regular Twizy has dual electric motors which produce around 17BHP, but in addition to this the Twizy F1 has a Formula 1 KERS system which outputs 97BHP for about 13 seconds. KERS stands for “Kinetic Energy Recovery System” and recovers energy from a moving vehicle’s braking system, stores the energy in a battery or a flywheel and dumps the power back into the powertrain under acceleration. Formula One cars have used KERS systems for the last few years and Renault have tapped their F1 expertise for this Twizy concept.
The KERS power boost sees the Twizy become a little rocket with a 0-60mph time of around six seconds and a top speed of 68mph. At its top speed the electric motor spins at 10,000rpm and the KERS module at 36,000 rpm. As the Twizy won’t generate as much kinetic energy under braking, Renault engineers have altered the KERS system so that it draws power from the electric motor, charging the battery during motion.
The F1 technology doesn’t end with the KERS module as the Twizy features a large rear wing, front wing and F1 style slick tires. The steering wheel also allows the driver to select the level of KERS boost that’s available.
The Twizy F1 isn’t available in stores but it will be seen driving the hillclimb at the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK during July.