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PHOTO CAPTION: Spark-Renault Formula E racer debuts at 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show

Electric Racing Technology About to Show Its Stuff

The advantages of electric cars will be demonstrated on city streets starting in 2014.

Published: 20-Sep-2013

Formula One race cars will take to the track this week in Singapore, where they'll reach blistering speeds above 200 mph, some of them with the aid of electric drive technology.

Prominent racing teams, including Marussia and Williams, are racing this year with kinetic energy recovery systems, or KERS, which are designed to recuperate a vehicle's braking energy and use it during acceleration. Other top teams, including McLaren, Ferrari and Renault, have used KERS technology in various races since the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) legalized it in 2009.

"The advantage of the electric vehicle [EV] platform is it collects that wasted kinetic energy on a turn. I can convert that into electrons, and I can put that right back into my battery for it to be used by the electric motor later. It's like I'm cheating physics a little bit," said John Waters, an energy consultant and EV pioneer who helped develop General Motors Co.'s first electric car, the EV1, in the 1990s.

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