Formula E electric racing car unveiled by consortium partners

2 min read

The all-electric race car that will be used by all teams in next year’s inaugural FIA Formula E Championship has been unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Designed and built by Spark Racing Technology, the single-seater SRT_01E was revealed at the 65th edition of the show by FIA President Jean Todt and Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E Holdings.

The car’s monocoque chassis has been constructed by Italian firm Dallara and has been aerodynamically designed to aid overtaking. Made from carbon fibre and aluminium, the chassis is expected to comply with 2014 FIA crash tests.

McLaren Electronics Systems provided the electric motor, gearbox and electronics whilst Williams Advanced Engineering, part of the Williams group of companies, designed and supplied the batteries and battery management systems; producing 200kw (the equivalent of 270bhp).

Renault, technical partner to Formula E, was responsible for overseeing systems integration, performance optimisation and powertrain electrical safety, and custom built 18-inch treaded tyres were supplied by Michelin to race in wet and dry conditions.

‘I congratulate all partners involved in the production of the fully-electric SRT_01E car – it is a fantastic achievement,’ said FIA President Jean Todt. ‘The innovative technology deployed follows the best environmental practices, highlighting the potential of the Formula E Championship to spark a revolution in the development of new electromobility systems, not just for motorsport but also for everyday use.’ 

The car, which has taken 10 months to make, will be used by all 10 teams and 20 drivers competing in the first Formula E championship, which starts in September 2014. A total of 42 cars will be produced by Spark with each driver using two cars during the one hour races that are set to take place in cities including London, Beijing, and Los Angeles.

The following seasons will be ‘open championship’, giving car manufacturers and constructors the opportunity to showcase their electrical energy innovations in a racing environment

In a statement, Peter van Manen, managing director of McLaren Electronic Systems, said, ‘These cars are going to be brilliant racing through the centres of cities. Electric motors deliver instant torque and acceleration and that is what McLaren is all about. Performance and efficiency. Our electric motor, developed originally for the McLaren P1, has the highest power-to-weight ratio in the world.’

SRT_01E is now scheduled to undergo a stringent FIA crash test followed by an extensive testing programme.

In a separate development Qualcomm Incorporated has announced a multi-year agreement with Formula E Holdings (FEH) to become an Official Founding Technology Partner of the FIA Formula E Championship.

The agreement will allow Qualcomm and FEH to showcase mobile and Electronic Vehicle technologies globally through the sport.

Qualcomm will advise FEH in their aim to incorporate new and more sustainable technologies into the racing series.

Qualcomm Halo Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC) technology - which uses resonant magnetic induction to transfer energy between a ground-based pad and a charging pad on the electric vehicle - will be adapted to be fitted into the 2014/2015 FIA Formula E Championship safety cars so they can be wirelessly charged. The wireless charging system will be made available to the race cars from season two.