Williams Advanced Engineering has been awarded the Simms Medal for its development of the batteries that power Formula E, the world’s first fully electric racing series.
The prize, awarded intermittently by the Royal Automobile Club’s Technical Committee, is reserved for exceptional contributions to motoring innovation. It was last awarded in 2013 to Lord Paul Drayson for setting four Electric World Land Speed Records for sub-999kg vehicles.
“We are thrilled and honoured to be the recipients of the Simms Medal for 2015,” said Craig Wilson, Williams Advanced Engineering managing director.
“Our battery technology has been fundamental to the Formula E series in its inaugural season, and we are proud of how it has stood up to the test in what was a very aggressive development and testing programme.”
Williams’ battery had to be designed from scratch within a tight 12-month timeframe. Other design restrictions meant it had to fit into a strictly pre-determined safety cell, be 100 per cent consistent from one team to the next, and last a full season with no loss of power or performance. In 440 starts across 11 races, the battery had just one failure.
“The Formula E battery is a design, technological and packaging marvel, and its creator, Williams Advanced Engineering, a very worthy recipient of the Simms Medal in recognition of its contribution to motoring innovation,” said John Wood MBE, chairman of the RAC’s Technical Committee.
“Each of these batteries has enough energy to charge a smartphone every day for 13 years and holds the equivalent energy of 10,000 AA alkaline batteries. The batteries have powered a full grid of Formula E racing cars a total of some 60,000km in the first season – which is the equivalent of one and a half times around the Earth.”