amc wrote:Electric racing using batteries will never work:
For the purposes of this excercise I will make a few assumptions - nothing is wholly accurate. Let's say we want the cars to be the same speed as F1, and that (to a large extent) means having the same power output.
False assumption, electric cars would likely be less draggy due to having no rules on bodywork under the car (and hence would be able to generate downforce through skirts etc), they could believably be lighter due to not having to worry about transmission, though the battery may offset that. Also, electric motor's torque curves are such that they could accelerate massively faster, and hence would not need such high top speeds to out-do an F1 car.
An F1 engine's average power output over time is, let's say, 500BHP, or 375kW. It varies according to RPM and that's conservative. For the car to last a third of a one-hour race (quite a short stint) at 375kW requires 450,000kJ, or 450MJ of energy. The best lithium ion batteries available at the moment will give about 2.5MJ per litre capacity, so in order for an electric car to run at the speed of an F1 car for a reasonable amount of time, the batteries will occupy 180 litres of space inside the car. And that's going to weigh something in the region of 500-600kg.
But you're forgetting pit stops, and the possibility of switching out battery packs, this would reduce the necessary weight (even assuming your power requirements are correct, which they probably aren't) to ~166-200kg. When you consider that an F1 car weighs 640kg including the transmission and in fact KERS & associated battery pack, that sounds much much more plausible to fit into sane weight limits.
There is no way an electric car will ever be as fast as a petrol one, that is, until someone fits a hydrogen cell.
Except electric cars are already setting very very competitive laps around the nurburgring... Sure, these particular ones can't keep going lap after lap, but that's already ~5 laps of F1 track (and more given warm up and warm down laps)... That's pretty damn close already!