Nyck de Vries is 2020-21 Formula E world champion. His victory is a compliment for the combined performance of a motivated team, but also for e-mobility as such. Electric mobility is race-proven and that’s just the beginning of how Formula E accelerates e-mobility switch
Formula E is primarily intended to popularize e-mobility
Formula E was not founded to offer speed-intoxicated hardcore fans another kind of joy, but to advertise e-mobility to a wide audience. That is why formula e does its laps primarily in the cities, close to its audience. Formula e wants to show that e-mobility is fun, in the classic sense of driving a car, and that the technology is suitable for everyday use.
Technology transfer not just on paper
Technology transfer from racing car to everyday car use is how Formula E accelerates e-mobility switch. With an efficiency of around 90%, the electric motor is already the most powerful engine, around 90% of the energy used actually result in usable power. In the case of the internal combustion engine, it is only 40%. Gerd Mäuser from team Jaguar: «In the racing car, we achieve an efficiency of 95 percent simply through the development of the control system. We have already benefited from this for the series.» In fact, the know-how from the racing team flowed into the control of the electric series Jaguar I-Pace. Its first technical uplift brought seven percent more range with otherwise the same technology through software development. «All data from the races and the development of the racing car are immediately available to our development engineers in the series.»
Charging stop as a reality check
From the 2022/23 season on, drivers will put in a charging stop. With smaller sized batteries they will not be able to drive through and therefore have to come to the box to be recharged. It is uncertain whether they will be able to reload in 30 seconds, in a minute or even in just 15 seconds. What is already certain: as a principle of the series the electricity will flow at the same speed for all racing cars. The essential technology up to the battery is the same for everyone. Differences in the software and the inverter could be decisive. The charging stop will open up another playing field for tactical decisions and also present the audience with a message that will soon be true for everyday e-mobility: charging is fast. Again, Formula E accelerates e-mobility switch; «If the racing cars draw enough electricity in a minute to complete the race, nobody will think an e-car can be recharged in a minute,» says Mäuser. But everybody will understand: electrical «refueling» will soon be as fast as traditional refueling. Even e-car skeptics could lose their fear of long stops.
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