Formula E- electric open wheeler championship

http://www.fia.com/championship/fia-formula-e-championship/2013/fia-formula-e-championship

http://formula-e-news.com/

I really like this bit:
“Pit stop will involve a change of car: when the battery runs out, the driver will make a pit stop, then will run 100 metres to climb into a recharged car”

I wonder how much the car design will follow technical requirements, or will the teams make deliberate ‘electric-y’ style choices? Here’s Renaults- a bit ‘Tron’-y around the wheels:

oooo shiny! :wink:

I’d rather the formula be that they use 1 car and the batteries are changed during a pit stop, like tires and adding fuel. By changing cars, I think they’re trying to promote electric car share in cities, as it appears all the races will be run in temporary city circuits.

In a racing environment, giving the engineers the challenge of figuring out new and clever e-innovations is probably the fastest way to solve some of the real world challenges of electric cars. But the formula needs to allow them to explore,…and spend money. :slight_smile:

I agree. The change of cars seems like a bit of a cop out if you ask me.

To really promote innovation and promote the technology, they should be forced to use 1 car.

But it will look hilarious when they sprint for the other car, espescially if its tight and they need to push and shove eachother.

I’d rather no specific rule on fueling/charging/etc. Leave it to the engineers to figure out what works best.

BTW, at the TT, they do 1 38 mile lap. The gas bikes need to refuel after 2. None of the bikes have enough charge to do 1 lap flat out, the rider has to manage his remaining energy. That’s another approach.

Also interesting is the development of the average lap speed of the winner:

2010: 96.8 mph
2011: 99.6 mph
2012: 104.1 mph
2013: 109.7 mph

To give you a comparison, the fastest gas bikes are 1000cc tuned race bikes. They do around 128-130 mph laps.

I’m sure this is reusing an existing chassis, but it would be more interesting and relevant if they scrapped the standard open wheels / sidepods / F&R wings archetype that was codified into the F1 rules 30 years ago. Open wheel cars haven’t been technically interesting since the 90s when they banned active suspension. Electric motors in a bunch of spec GP2 cars isn’t very interesting either.

Agreed. TT zero is interesting because they have everything from engineering school projects to Honda. Would be nice to see an electric car competition with similarly open rules.

They do have an opportunity to go bananas, if they wanted to (can’t embed video to start at relevant point at 38s, and has loud music):

Tesla is ahead of the game here:

See, that’s cool! The formula should allow for teams to have both options - change batteries or car.

Hybrid is actually more interesting to me right now. F1 is changing the engine formula next year: Axis Of Oversteer: 2014 Renault Energy-F1 Power Plant Revealed.

And the Le Mans hybrid prototypes of Audi and Toyota are quite interesting. BTW, Le Mans 24heur is this weekend.

I’m sure Scott will agree with me on this, but all of these things are just rule-enforcement. They aren’t really about making fast cars. To an extent, it makes sense. F1, Le Mans sportscars, Indycars and NASCAR were too dangerous to continue by the '80’s and '90’s. Plus the cost was insane.

Electric racing technology is at 1950’s level performance. Let them run free for a few years.

The ACO (runs Le Mans) should offer a $1M to the first electric car that can qualify and finish 24 hours in a seperate electric class with only basic safety rules. How cool would that be?

I only just found out the season has started:

the sound is pretty cool:

http://www.fia.com/championship/fia-formula-e-championship/2014/fia-formula-e-championship

“Overview:
10 international teams, each with two drivers. Each driver will have 2 cars.
Races will take place on 10 city-centre venues around the world
Circuits will be from 2.5km to 3 km in length
Cars will accelerate from 0- 100Km/h in 2.9 seconds, with a maximum speed of 225Km/h
The cars will still produce sound at around 80 decibels (more than a road car travelling at 70mph)”

The ‘get out and run to change battery pit stop’ rule has been ditched:
http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/guide/rules-and-regs.aspx

“Pit stops/Car changes
During races, drivers must make one mandatory pit stop in order to change cars. This must take place in their box and be observed by an FIA steward to ensure all safety equipment is correctly applied. A minimum time period (determined on the day) will also be enforced. Tyre changes, unless a puncture, are not permitted during this pit stop.”

You are only hearing the whine of straight cut gears and wind. It will produce a lot of sound because of spoiled aerodynamics. I bet from the grand stands, it will be pretty quiet, comparatively.

Some drivers were saying that they are hearing so much of the sounds that the car makes which they never heard before over the engine noise. Quite a new feel for them.
In the highlights video, they basically only showed the crash. Doesn´t seem to be much excitement in the rest hm.
But that crash was insane, turning in the air, with the driver head first to the fence… good that nothing happened. That would have been a horrible start for a new race series (or not…)

Impress me, take these machines to Indianapolis. Granted, it’s only left hand turns, but it is the perfect venue for developing endurance. But changing vehicles vs. changing batteries is a problem, unless you “qualify” all the cars that you would be running.

I doubt that there will be too many folks interested in purchasing “city cars” with the capability that these race cars possess, the name of the game in, electric vehicles, is range, and reliability.

I believe for the next season they were thinking about changing batteries in a way the F1 pit stops used to be. The cars this year are pretty much stock cars, but next year teams will be able to develop them, so it’s gonna be more interesting. This season is more about becoming known and testing out the technology.

  1. I hope they don’t have “push to pass” or DRS. That crap has made F1 unwatchable and Indycar barely tolerable.

Drawing upon its many years’ of experience, Michelin has developed a bespoke 18-inch treaded tyre that is unique to Formula E and usable in both wet and dry conditions.

YES!!! After 15 years of me complaining about how someone should run an all-weather tire in a series, it finally happens!

  1. 25 laps or a little over 50 minutes. Wow. I’m curious if the drivers have to stay off full throttle along the straights to get it home. Riders in the electric TT Zero have to control their speed on the straights or they will run out of juice before their lap is done.

  2. Funny how there is Mahindra and Audi racing Renaults. Very strange.

  3. Lew: Isn’t it weird that they are starting this in China? I’ve been to China…not an auto racing mecca. I think Indy would have been the best place for this. The track knows how to promote. It’s in a country that likes racing. I can’t think of any place that I would even put #2.