Dallara Magazine - page 11

Engineer Montanari, what are the innovative
aspects of this project from Dallara's point of
view? The first thing that we noticed was the
rear axle, which is reminiscent of the Izod
«The fact that this is a fully electrical car means it
is impossible to compare with any of our past
projects. The style is undoubtedly similar to the
Izod Indycar since the form owes a great deal to
our research into reducing aerodynamic
resistance as well as the implementation of
safety devices that are already in use in the
American vehicles. The result is a completely new
car from a European point of view, and one that
boasts zero emissions, which is probably the most
important innovation. From a design standpoint,
the true innovation is the installation of the
electrical power unit and in particular the
battery pack: as we gradually move ahead on the
project together with our partners we are coming
to realise that we are moving into uncharted
territory, above all from a safety point of view».
How has the presence of an electrical power
unit affected the way you work?
«In itself, the electrical power unit does not
have a significant effect on the design phase,
the technology is already highly advanced.
These power units are very small and light with
respect to the amount of power they generate.
But batteries are another matter. A battery’s
energy density is so much lower than fossil fuels
that it means we are still obliged to use large
numbers of bulky, heavy power cells. This
creates a whole range of design issues,
especially the problem of weight distribution.
In fact, in order to achieve the same
performance and autonomy as an internal
combustion engine, we have to install an
electric motor and battery pack that weigh
more than twice as much. That said, it should
also be noted that all this would have been
completely impossible a few short years ago,
and that, if the competition proves successful,
the associated research programs will continue
to make significant progress and the resulting
technology will also benefit the production
vehicle industry».
How is the collaboration with your numerous
prestigious partners, principally McLaren,
coming along? And how do you expect it to
unfold in the future?
«Working with big names such as McLaren,
Williams and Renault is a very interesting, and
highly stimulating experience. The collaboration,
which is being coordinated by Spark Racing
Technology, has been open and profitable right
from the start, thanks to the common aim of
developing the best possible product and the
willingness of all parties to share their know
how. The main onus is, of course, on safety,
given the high voltages that are involved in the
project and the chemistry of the batteries, we
are all working together to develop a solution
that satisfies everyone and conforms to the very
highest standards».
«We are exploring the future»
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