Next generation of Formula E cars could "cover" limits of tech.

Next generation of Formula E cars could “cover” limits of tech. Subscribe to Electric Vehicle News Bitesize Podcast for FREE!

Formula E will launch its next-generation car in the new season, and Envision Racing team principal Sylvain Filippi believes it can help “hide” the frontiers of electric technology.

The all-electric Formula E racing series will be refreshed next season as the team prepares to bring the next generation – Gen 3 cars – into the race.

They will be lighter, smaller and more powerful than their outgoing cousins ​​- which they have been using since the 2018 to 2019 season.

Developments in electrical engineering have opened up some fascinating prospects for the next generation of Formula E cars – one of which, as one team principal put it, is the ability to “hide” the limitations of such engineering.

Envision Racing team principal Sylvain Filippi spoke exclusively ahead of the team’s flight to New York for the first of three double-header races to end the season, arguing that the next generation of Formula E is the next step in improving what electric vehicles will do.

“Gen 3 is all about performance. Gen 1 was all about proof of concept – we needed to be able to say we could go electric racing,” he said at the team’s Silverstone base.

“It provided a starting point that was not ideal, with two cars per driver.” (Gen 1 cars featured mid-race car swaps for drivers as the batteries could not last a full race distance.)

“Gen 2 was to really show the range to say we’ve doubled the amount of energy in the battery, that the power and efficiency are going up.

“Gen 3 is really going to take it to the next level on performance, another 100 kilowatts of power – a car that is 60kg lighter and in motorsport terms is huge, it is gigantic.”

“The next step [for the Gen 3 Formula E car] is to really show you can almost disguise the limit of what you can do with electric technology in the direction that you can take it.

“We said now was the time to ensure the car was light, powerful, small, nimble – all the things we think an electric car cannot be and then demonstrate that with a very high level of performance.

The next generation of Formula E cars will increase power from 250 kilowatts to 350 kilowatts – and these cars have no rear brakes at all, which is what Re-Gen is capable of.

The second big story of the third generation is the Re-Gen, and the increase in power from 250 kilowatts to 600 kilowatts front and rear is absolutely massive – about six times as much as the road car,” explains Filippi.

“It means the deacceleration through the electric is all the deacceleration you need – you almost don’t need brakes which is a very exciting innovation for Formula E cars of the future.

“Optimising and trying to maximise the re-gen for braking is challenging so to make it controllable for the drivers.

“It has very different energy profiles, very different re-gen profiles, and so basically we have to rewrite all the software on the car. It was the same for Gen 2, but on another level.

“Of course, regardless of the fact it is a new powertrain, it is a new race car and so you have to rediscover everything – different chassis, different handling characteristics, and different vehicle dynamics.

“But that is good, we like the challenge of pushing the tech.”

The next-generation Formula E car will undergo official pre-season testing later this year ahead of its launch for the 2022/23 season.

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Next generation of Formula E cars could "cover" limits of tech.
Subscribe to Electric Vehicle News Bitesize Podcast for FREE!