Formula E, the official international electric car race was off to a slow start in 2014 since competitors could only use the bespoke Spark-Renault SRT_01E car they had to order specially. The electric motor weighed 57 pounds and delivered 270bhp with 140 newton meters of instant power. It took its energy from a ‘renewable energy storage system’ by a company called Williams Advanced Engineering.
How the Formula E Car Spec Broadened Out
The rules changed for the 2015 season. Since then, competitors have been able to create their own drive trains comprising electric motors, inverters, gearboxes, and cooling systems.
Official policy is that they may also investigate advanced technology in the form of all-wheel-drive and torque vectoring. And front-wheel-energy harvesting and brake by wire too.
However, their right to develop their own batteries is on hold until 2025, despite an ambitious original five-year window. The reasons behind this make for an interesting reading. The current version of the Williams Advanced Engineering lithium battery is still only 28 kW although anti-vibration and bus bar details have changed.
Why Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag is Holding Back
Alejandro Agag has no objection to competitors developing a second, smaller battery to power their own unique technology.
However, AutoSport thinks the CEO has general competitor support for staying with the Williams Advanced Engineering drive train battery for now.
His main reason is opening battery competition would create ‘unsustainable budgets’ for the current competitors. We are inclined to agree with him. Because we support the idea that Formula racing drivers compete on a level playing field when it comes to their cars.
The average Formula E sprint to 60mph is 3 seconds. Tesla’s Ludicrous Model S would sweep the Formula E floor if it were allowed to compete with own batteries. Because it is one-third faster out of the starting blocks. Thus there would be little point for the others to even join the race. We’ll stay with Williams Advanced Engineering batteries for now.
Preview Image: First Formula E Car