Caterham EV Seven: the myth goes electric
Caterham today unveiled the EV Seven, a concept for a future all-electric Seven, which will test the feasibility of a lightweight electric Seven that is just as fun-to-drive as its thermal counterpart. It is also a way for the builder to advance towards a commercialization process.
Two prototypes will make their debut at the Goodwood Speed Festival in July 2023. For the record, know that it is also a small electric bomb, the McMurtry Automotive Speirling, which holds the lap record there in 39 s 08 ‘.
No record to beat for the EV Seven, but one goal: they will have to match the performance of a 237 hp Seven 485 combustion engine by reducing the 0 to 100 km/h in 3.4 s and will have to have sufficient autonomy. to drive at full speed on the track for 20 minutes and be able to fully recharge via a 150 kW charger in 15 minutes, to roll the balloons again for 20 minutes.
The EV Seven has an enlarged latest-generation thermal Seven chassis, the engine and transmission being replaced by a powertrain which has a Swindon Powertrain engine of 240 hp at 9000 rpm developing an instantaneous torque of 250 Nm. The transmission is based on a single-speed gearbox and a limited-slip differential. The engine, above all, is powered by a 51 kWh battery (40 useful kWh) whose particularity is to be immersed in a dielectric fluid supplied by Motul.
The fluid is in direct contact with the cells, allowing better thermal management during charge and discharge cycles. This technology is generally used to cool supercomputers, which generate a large amount of heat. “Currently, cooling batteries by immersion is one of the best solutions to deal with the rapid charge and discharge cycles encountered on a circuit”says Bob Laishley, managing director of Caterham and defector of Nissan Nismo since last year.
The weight increase is less than 70 kg compared to the current production Seven 485, on which the concept is based, resulting in a total mass of just under 700 kg. In the world of electrics, this is a record, which would confirm once again that weight reduction is a guarantee of performance, efficiency and durability.
“The targets set for us for vehicle weight and battery charging speed are undoubtedly ambitious, but the use of immersion-cooled battery technology and our own powertrain components allows us to to develop an electric Seven that retains the DNA of our fundamentals”adds Bob Laishley.
After the festival, the two prototypes of EV Seven will serve as demonstrators and will not be intended for sale for the moment. However, the CEO says he is not ruling out any option as long as there is potential for profitability.