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ACO: “Too Early” to Back Flymove Battery Swap Program

Beaumesnil: Too early for ACO to back Flymove Bertone’s Le Mans-focused EV program…

Photo: Flymove Dianche

It is “far too early” to confirm whether the recently announced Flymove Bertone Motorsport program, using battery swap technology, could feature in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, according to the ACO.

ACO sporting director Vincent Beaumesnil told e-racing365 that the organization has been consulted about Flymove Bertone’s plans, which were announced on Monday.

The Anglo-Italian team plans to launch its fully electric race car in spring 2020, with a race debut in 2021.

It’s pledged to establish a “stable position” in the FIA World Endurance Championship and wants to pursue an entry in the 24 Hours of Le Mans as a Garage 56 competitor.

While he admits the project looks interesting, Beaumesnil says it’s too early in its development process to permit it in ACO competition at this stage.

“They have contacted me and said they would like to do Garage 56 with this technology,” he said.

“I have said you need to do a feasibility study and come back to us later with a complete project and we will tell you if we can open the doors of Garage 56 or not. But we are at just this stage.

“For sure at the moment there is no approval from the ACO. At this stage it’s far too early.”

Despite not committing yet, Beaumesnil clarified that the ACO does remain “open” to new technologies such as this being tested at Le Mans.

The ACO has strongly backed hydrogen as the future of endurance racing, ramping up its MissionH24 program to include a lap of Circuit de la Sarthe ahead of last month’s race.

“We are open on all new technologies that may have some interest for the automotive industry,” Beaumesnil said.

“I think this is what makes our sport strong, is that the diversity of technology, I think, is probably what will happen in the future in the automotive future.

“I don’t think we will only have electric cars or only hydrogen cars. It will probably be a diversity.

“Everybody wants to test, as long as we can do something that works at Le Mans that is safe, that works in terms of performance and is acceptable at all of the levels, we are interested to look at it.

“But there is a long evaluation process before we reach this point.”

John Dagys contributed to this report.

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist who is e-racing365's Managing Editor and also European Editor for Sportscar365. He is a student of Politics and International Relations. Contact Jake

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Chris

    July 29, 2019 at 2:32 am

    I think battery swapping is the right thing for the near future of endurance racing. And then we’ll switch to most likely solid state batteries and insanely fast charging.

    • Avatar

      FormulaFox

      July 30, 2019 at 7:11 am

      It’s the best thing for electric cars as a whole. The fastest charging that can be done safely will still be too big a step backwards from refueling our cars to be sufficiently effective for long-distance travel. Swappable batteries may not have the range we can get out of non-swappable stacks, but they provide far more benefits than drawbacks.

      Once they have standards for them in place, that is.

  2. Avatar

    N8

    July 30, 2019 at 10:25 am

    Too early? We were swapping batteries with homemade quick-change systems in 1/10 scale electric R/C cars 30 years ago. Yeah, I know it’s not the same, but this isn’t a groundbreaking idea in general.

    The reason I have to comment though is, after the joke of the Nissan EV lap of Le Mans, or the CONSTANT support for these hydrogen projects that never go anywhere, who is Beaumesnil to belittle the one common sense solution we’ve actually seen presented? Why would a car with a removable battery not be allow in ACO racing?

    • Avatar

      Temno Spndyl

      July 30, 2019 at 2:30 pm

      Do you read all that into “too early” ?

  3. Avatar

    Scott

    July 30, 2019 at 12:15 pm

    The ACO is being too conservative; all their series will be obsolete/historic in no time if they don’t open the tech door soon enough. So screw the ACO and LeMans! Bertone now have a chance for experimental class and special non-points invites in any series who wants the publicity…how about VLN? It wouldn’t take much more than reviewing big-battery issues with the safety workers and then just let the car run. If the car performs well, great; if it has issues, that’s an opportunity to find ways to improve. The world changes and traditions must roll with it or become irrelevant.

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