FIA president Jean Todt and formula-e founder and CEO Alejandro Agag, with help from a robot arm supplied from ABB, unveiled the Gen2 formula-e car. The teams racing in formula-e as of now are:
- Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler Formula E Team
- BMW I ANDRETTI MOTORSPORT
- DS TECHEETAH
- Virgin Racing
- MAHINDRA RACING
- NIO Formula E Team
- Nissan e.dams
- Panasonic Jaguar Racing
- VENTURI Formula E Team
The automotive giants including Mercedes, Audi, Porsche, BMW will also be entering the sport in the coming years to join the manufacturers like Mahindra, Jaguar, and NIO.
Please go through the previous blog on the rules and regulation amendments in formula- one.
One of the widely followed rule while designing the car for the various motorsport series is that the single seater cars should have an open cockpit and open wheels. The formula e Gen1 car also had an open wheel (mostly). But, a body panel was used to avoid direct contact of the wheel with air. The Gen2 car, on the other hand, has bodywork covering the wheel.
The rule dates back to the time when the bodywork was absent to save weight and complexity in design. Today the motorsports have come a long way where efficiency matters a lot. Bodywork surrounding the wheels cuts the drag and improves the range of the car. The car’s bodywork creates downforce, cuts drag and feeds cool air to the radiators. The underside of the car has huge diffusers which create downforce efficiently without battery-draining drag. Without the rear wings and large diffusers, the turbulence experienced by the car behind is very less. The covered wheels also reduce the amount of chaotic air and encourage more and more overtakes.
One Car One Race
With the formula-e being deeply engraved year after year in the motorsport landscape, it allows some of the budding manufacturers and startups to enter the sport for a reasonable cost. The teams don’t have to develop an engine like in formula-one. Here, the teams are provided with the motor along with the auxiliaries and a software that can act as an interface between the vehicle and motors. This powertrain is then bolted to the chassis of the car which makes the difference. The heart of the car holds the battery which sits inside the rear of the carbon fiber survival cell. The battery in the Gen2 car is supplied by McLaren Applied Technology which is a sibling of McLaren formula-one team.
In the previous seasons, the cars had to be swapped mid-race so that the driver can put up a good show and get to the job from the first lap. But a lot of mishaps were common during this duration and it proved to be the spiciest part of the race. This was not a good advert for the introduction of the electric vehicles. The longer drive range now will clearly give a picture that the sport is improving and so does the technology behind it.
In the future, the rules may allow the battery technologies for competition so that it could help in research and development of some new technologies that have wide acceptance and can later be brought to the commercial market as well.
The head protection device that was fantasized and agonized at the same tie also makes its debut in the formula-e. The halo was already seen at work in formula-one and is now also expected to be there in formula-e for sure. The halo will also feature an LED light on its top which will be used to display the car’s remaining battery and power mode selected by the driver. These LED lights will also be used to indicate the emergency situations.
The gen2 car will have a maximum power of 250kW, out of which 200kW will available during races. The car will have a maximum speed of 280km/h (174mph). The Gen2 car will run on new all-weather rubber supplied by Michelin, which will be lighter and have less rolling resistance than the current tires. The weight of the car will be up to 880kg. The car measures 5160mm in length and will be 1770mm wide.
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