Electric cars are slowly becoming a viable alternative to standard gas burning vehicles. The primary drawback at this point is the limited range offered on one charge, which imposes a 100 mile limit on travel. If you just need to drive around town and don’t mind moving at a slower pace, an electric car would probably do you well enough.
Renault’s Twizy is one option for an electric car that has some popularity in Europe. Renault also develops Formula One race cars, and the company’s newest concept car, the Twizy Renault Sport F1, combines the two worlds into a single vehicle. Using technology developed for F1 racing, Renault has given its small electric vehicle a serious, albeit temporary, power upgrade.
The Twizy F1 incorporates Renault’s Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS), which was developed for Formula One cars. The KERS system stores up energy each time the brakes are applied, and that energy can then be spent for a short burst of speed. In the case of the Twizy F1, this raises the small vehicle’s horsepower from a paltry 17 to a more impressive 97 for 14 seconds.
“KERS is a very complex system and integrating it into another electric car was a very serious endeavor, but they managed to make it work, delivering a huge boost of power safely and efficiently,” said Jean-Michel Jalinier, president and managing director, Renault Sport F1. “I’m not sure we’ll be seeing many of these cars on our roads, but it does show that the same principles we see on the race track can be filtered down to the road car range …”
Below you’ll find a short video demonstration of the Twizy F1.