Formula E is the world’s first fully electric international single-seater street racing series. To give it is real name, The ABB FIA Formula E consists of 11 teams and 22 drivers, Formula E delivers world-class racing to 12 cities over five continents, throughout the seven-month Championship season. Bringing racing rivalries to city streets, set against some of the most iconic skylines in the world – such as New York, Hong Kong, Paris and Rome.
Season 5 is about to kick off with the first race in Ad Diriyah on December 15th. This year the racing should be more interesting that before, as the cars are now the next generation or Gen2 cars. What does that mean? These machines now have more power, around 250Kw that will now power the cars for a complete race, rather than having to swap cars half way as before. The Gen 2 cars will be quick reaching 100Km/h in under 3 seconds and powering to 280Km/h.
Each race is now a set time rather than set laps. The winner is the first car past the flag after 45 minutes of racing. The teams also have more freedom to design and develop the cars. The first Gen cars for the first 4 seasons were identical. Each team ran a car built by Spark Racing Technology, called the Spark-Renault SRT 01E .The chassis was designed by Dallara, a battery system created by Williams Advanced Engineering and a Hewland five-speed gearbox. Michelin was the official tire supplier.
In the first season, all teams used an electric motor developed by McLaren. Since the second season, powertrain manufacturers could build their own electric motor, inverter, gearbox and cooling system; the chassis and battery stayed the same. This gives the teams the freedom to develop and race each other. Let the technology race begin.
There were nine manufacturers creating powertrains for the 2016–17 season: ABT Schaeffler, Andretti Technologies, DS-Virgin, Jaguar, Mahindra, NextEV TCR, Penske, Renault, and Venturi. This season sees the lauch on BMW i Team (see below) who will join the existing teams from Audi, DS, Jaguar, Mahindra, HWA, NIO, Penske, Nissan (which takes the place of sister marque Renault) and Venturi.
BMW i Motorport
This week BMW launched the iFE. 18.
BMW i Motorsport presented the new BMW iFE.18 and the new BMW i Andretti Motorsport team at BMW Welt’s double cone in Munich. This latest all-electric racing car boasts an improved, eye-catching design, however, it was the innovative and hidden drivetrain of the BMW iFE.18 that was the real star of the show.
Developed using the expertise of the same engineers that designed the BMW i3 drivetrain, BMW i and BMW Motorsport are working on the Formula E project in tandem. This helps facilitate a technology transfer between series development and motorsport unprecedented in this form.
“For BMW, it is also the perfect test lab for production development. The technology transfer between motorsport and series production is intense… insights from Formula E flow directly into the development of future series production drivetrains. So, I am looking forward to a great racing season,” said Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development and Motorsport.
The two BMW iFE.18 cars, which will be in action at the Formula E races around the world as of December, will have the BMW works drivers António Félix da Costa (POR) and Alexander Sims (GBR) at the wheel.