On the windshield is the 1, a number that could be confusing because the model is not yet in competition. Georg Fuchs, the managing director of the FIA European Truck Racing Championship, a 41-year-old Bavarian, hopes so: “We are open to any type of power supply, from hydrogen to electric”, he assures. “We are sustainable and we strive to be more and more so, but we have an image problem, which does not reflect who we are: we are better than what we think”, he insists to defend the reputation of an event which, in the European circuits, attracts more spectators than any other motor racing competition, excluding Formula 1. Almost half a million, of which around 200,000 in just two events: at the Nürburgring, in Germany, where there were also around 130,000 paying spectators, and at Le Mans, where the ETRC nearly reached 70,000.
The Iveco eTruck was presented at Misano Adriatico on the occasion of the first of the 8 rounds of the circuit which will end in October in Spain, on the Jarama track, near Madrid, which had also hosted Formula 1. More than the grid, still very conventional, the blue hues reveal the soul of the engine, the first electric racing car in the world. It was created by Team Hahn Racing, the German stable of Jochen Hahn, which has already won the European title six times with trucks equipped with combustion engines. The zero emission challenge could be the future.
The prototype will debut on the track in mid-July, right on the Nürburgring, where, however, it will not compete yet and will only carry out demonstration laps, probably with Lukas Hahn at the wheel, the “scion” of a dynasty of drivers, who is also professionally involved in the racing truck setup.
The Iveco engine was created through important collaborations which also involved FPT Power Technologies, a subsidiary of Iveco, Bosch, ZF, Hankoook (which is the official tire supplier in Formula E, the world championship for zero-emission single-seaters) and, among others, Dekra and Nissens, specialized in thermal efficiency components. It has in common with the conventional tractors involved in the championship the weight, around 5.5 tons, and the power, which exceeds 1,140 HP (840 kW), about sixty less than those of the FIA Etrc biodiesel-powered racing models and fitted with Goodyear single-compound tyres.
The prototype, which has yet to be tested based on the regulations of the International Automobile Federation, has four lithium-ion battery packs weighing 408 kg each for a total of 252 kWh of capacity, about five times that of the accumulators used on the Gen3 single-seaters of Formula E. Even the speed, electronically limited by the will of the FIA to 160 per hour, is identical to that of the engines with combustion engines. Fuchs, and not only him, hopes that other manufacturers will join the review with “alternative” technologies.