Ever heard of the 2012 Ene-1 Grand Prix Motegi before? Yes, you will not get luminaries like Sebastian Vettel here, but this is a next-generation car race that is powered by Panasonic’s Evolta rechargeable batteries, and it was recently held at the Twin Ring Motegi Circuit in Tochigi Prefecture. All cars that race in the Ene-1 GP will run on Panasonic’s AA size Evolta nickel metal hydride rechargeable batteries as seen above, and we are not talking about just a dozen of these batteries, but rather, 40 of them puppies. The cars will be designed by individual teams, and of course just like Formula 1, there are limits and boundaries that teams will have to conform to in terms of design and engineering so that the playing field remains level.
The Ene-1 GP is made up of the time attack and distance races, where the former will compete to complete a single 2.4km lap, while the distance race will see who can cover the most distance in an hour. Teams can charge the rechargeable Evolta batteries just once before the time attack, so plenty of thought would have had to go into the vehicle’s design, in addition to having a skillful driver. The lighter, the better, I suppose?