Envision Virgin to co-develop FE-style electric two-seat car

The Envision Virgin Racing Formula E team will co-develop the first two-seat electric open-wheel race car as part of a new sponsorship deal with FTSE 100 company Johnson Matthey

Envision Virgin to co-develop FE-style electric two-seat car

Johnson Matthey specialises in advanced chemicals and battery materials, spearheaded by its nickel-rich eLNO hardware that is expected to feature in hybrid and electric road cars from 2024.

These advanced cathode materials deliver greater energy density while "sustaining excellent battery cycle life".

The two-seater race car, which will resemble the styling of a Formula E car, will use these batteries and then likely feature as part of an EVR hospitality experience package and complete demonstration runs.

Delta Motorsport, based opposite EVR on the Silverstone business park, finished runner-up in the LMP2 class of the World Endurance Championship in 2012.

It has previously built a 600bhp V8-powered two-seater Formula 1-style car, as driven by world champions Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill, which featured a sequential cockpit rather than two seats side-by-side.

Delta Motorsport was also responsible for the build and operation of the 2000 Reynard 2KI Champ Car-based machines used during the short-lived Grand Prix Masters series during 2005 and 2006, won by Mansell and Eddie Cheever respectively.

Still a work in progress, the new two-seater electric car will utilise powertrain components from EVR's first-generation FE development car, while the chassis production will be outsourced.

Chief executive of Johnson Matthey, Robert MacLeod said: "Our vision is for a world that's cleaner and healthier, today and for future generations, so we're delighted to be working together with Envision Virgin Racing and its owners Envision Group as we both share an ambition to create a more sustainable future.

"We're also excited about creating the first electric race car using eLNO technology - which is a major milestone in its commercialisation - and to join the team's 'Race Against Climate Change' initiative and its goals of inspiring generations to take action to protect the planet."

As part of a multi-year deal, the Envision Virgin cars will now carry the Johnson Matthey logo on the sides of the nosecone.

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