Season 4 of the Formula E Electric Street Racing Series introduces its new racing vehicle.
The physical model of the Gen2 Formula E racing car, together along with full technical specifications, will be revealed on the FIA stand at the Geneva Motor Show on March 6.
More exciting technical news accompanying this new racing vehicle is that Maclaren Applied Technologies (MAT) won the right to supply the new Formula E battery for this new 2018/19 season.
This new Formula E racer has a step-up in performance from the current design with close to double the energy storage capacity and twice the range; this means that the teams and drivers will complete a full race distance at higher speeds without making a mid-race car swap as in the previous seasons. This Gen2 racing vehicle demonstrates the relatively fast improvements in battery and electric motor technology achieved in the span of just four years.
MAT will need to submit the battery for crash testing by June 1, 2017, and a test battery must be available to teams by November 1. The final race version will need to be delivered to teams by July 1, 2018.
Power output is expected to rise to 250kW (335bhp) for the 2018/19 campaign, with the capacity to harvest energy to rise from 150kW to 250kW. How fast can it accelerate? See this video below:
If you don’t believe this video—watch this next one that shows how it was done:
At the end of 2014, when Formula E began, all teams had to use the same Spark-Renault SRT_01E_ race vehicles. Now, some technical specifications have been relaxed a little so teams can develop their own designs for electronics, inverters, electric motors, and gearboxes. But, every team still needs to use.
The common package of specification parts will be homologated and built by the competing manufacturers to house their own powertrain designs as well as their own electric motor choice.
This season teams only need two cars instead of the previous four cars per race.
This Formula E race is an excellent road stress test, in a high-pressure situation like racing, for things like battery-management software and power electronics in electric vehicles (EV) that will be mass produced.
Right now, only a single rear motor/generator, which drives the rear wheels through the gearbox, is allowed by the rules. Ultimately, other additions by teams may include another motor/generator for the front axle and maybe individual motors on the rear wheels. Developing their own battery may come in 2025.
Formula E has also announced a multi-year partnership with ABB, a Swiss industrial technology company.
The ABB and Formula E teams have the latest electrification and digital technologies to advance this sport. ABB’s electric vehicle chargers are being deployed worldwide, especially with their fast charging station solutions.
ABB, which claims it will annually dedicate $1.5 billion to fund “research and development activities,” gives Formula E faster growth potential. EV technology will be pushed to the edge of the envelope with this effort.
Numerous other large automotive manufacturing companies, including Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche and Jaguar, have already announced their plans to participate in the series in the beginning seasons, showing electric racing's increasing “relevance to the motor industry,” according to Alejandro Tarik Agag Longo, who heads up the Formula E Championship racing series.
ABB, which claims to annually dedicate $1.5 billion to fund “research and development activities,” gives Formula E further scope to grow.
Check out this season’s race schedule here.
Other Planet Analog and EDN articles on Formula E: