Formula E Racing

Formula E Racing

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I didn't even know there was such a thing as Formula E electric car racing. I have no interest in auto racing, but what a great idea to promote EVs!
Come Elon, you got the bucks. Get a car in the race.... Sponsor one... build one. I'd love to go cheer on team Tesla!

Red Sage ca us | June 27, 2014

Hmmm... That should have read:

But Tesla Motors already has all their engineers 'in the trenches' with 'their feet to the fire'. It wouldn't do them any good to add racing programs to their long list of duties, as it would surely burn them out irreversibly.

frmercado | July 11, 2014

Pioneering electric car company Rimac Automobili has announced that it is to supply the new all-electric FIA Formula E Championship with one of its exclusive Concept_One super cars.

Looks like Tesla, arguably the most important electric vehicle manufacturer in the world, is one of the few electric car manufacturers that has not gotten involved in this series in any way so far. Like I said before, I think this is a missed opportunity.

Motorsports offer a platform that would give exposure to electric vehicle technology to a segment of the global population that most likely wouldn't have even thought about electric cars as a viable option to ICE vehicles, let alone as racing machines.

So far these are the electric car manufacturers that in some way or another are contributing to the series:

Drayson Racing

Mclaren, Williams and Audi are indirectly involved too, although they are not fully EV manufacturers.

If Rimac, who can't even begin to compare in size and resources to TM was able to get involved by providing a car I'm sure that Tesla Motors can figure out a way to contribute something to this series and the nascent electric racing world.

Red Sage ca us | July 11, 2014

Racing prowess is more important to those who are in the market to buy a one million Galactic Union Credit vehicle than those who might instead consider a one hundred thousand or thirty five thousand dollar vehicle.

On the other hand, there are some people who don't have any idea that a Toyota branded NASCAR has nothing to do with a Camry, and the rest don't care.

Brian H | July 12, 2014

How many of those other EV companies sell every car they make, without advertising?

frmercado | July 14, 2014

@ Brian Again, its not about advertising, its about advancing EV technology. The more companies in the race the more innovation in EV tech. This is the most cost effective R&D investment that you could make.

Did you take a look at the article I posted about the Williams developed battery pack? (

They developed it in under six months! A battery that weights under 200kgs has more than 28kw/h energy density and also has an encasing that is pretty much fire resistant: "we could have a battery fire yet the temperature seen by the fuel cell was less than 70 degrees"

It is also liquid cooled and can withstand repeated fast charging without any issues.

They did this in 6 months!

This quote pretty much sums up what I think racing brings to the table when it comes to developing new technologies through competition:

“There are very few organisations in the world that could have done what we did in effectively six months,” says Doug Campling, the technical lead for Williams Advanced Engineering’s motorsport programmes. “When you think about who else could have done it, it’s a very short list. There have been a lot of late nights! It’s hard to imagine another company that doesn’t have a RACING HISTORY that would have the same ethos.”

Timo | July 15, 2014

28000Wh/200kg= 140Wh/kg.
1300lbs~=590kg 85000Wh/590kg = 144Wh/kg.

Without using any special materials, using only mature battery techs, crash-proof etc. etc. If Tesla would use high-tech batteries it could easily add about 50% to that density right now.

Tesla has nothing to learn from others, but others have a lot to learn from Tesla.

I actually hate how much FIA restricts development. They regulate pretty much everything with strict rules. They basically prevent anybody using really revolutionary inventions. It's pretty much same in F1 racing too now.

frmercado | July 15, 2014

Timo, you are assuming that the energy density is 28kw/h even though Williams made it clear that their pack has more energy than that. 28kw/h is the minimum amount of energy that the FIA required the battery to have.

I think their battery energy density is around if not superior to what Tesla has. This was accomplished by a small company with little resources to spare and in an extremely short amount of time. This is happening even before any real competition in terms of R&D is being done between the teams, which is when technologies will get pushed. That is what I find impressive.

As far as FIA over regulating the sport. So far the consensus is that teams will be given "carte blanche" as far as the power train, including battery components goes, with the only limitations of weight, chassis architecture and safety. These "restrictions" seem pretty reasonable to me and may in fact help push the technology further due to the size and weight constraints imposed to the teams. Getting the most out of a small and light package will ultimately benefit the whole EV industry. Aerodynamics, which can eat a big chunk of a formula team budget and do not really transfer to road cars, will be restricted.

At least that is what can be gathered from an article of The Guardian, which I quote:

"In the first year, the drivers will all have the same car, created by Spark, McLaren, Williams and Renault. After that teams will be able to make their own improvements. But tight rules mean this has to focus on the battery and drive train, the areas with the most relevance for road cars rather than, for example, the aerodynamic shape which F1 teams spend millions on improving. This also means the cost of running a Formula E team is likely to be about £3m rather than the £200m for an F1 team."

frmercado | July 15, 2014
Timo | July 16, 2014

This is a case where I would love to be wrong, but I wont be holding my breath over that.

Here are the current regulations:

From here:[0]=field_regulation_category%3A330

frmercado | July 16, 2014

Timo, sadly, it appears that you are right. :(

The regulations do limit power output and energy density of the battery. They also allow for a lot of tinkering in the chassis and aerodynamics. It's sad that that they just didn't froze chassis development completely. Looks like these guys haven't learned from formula one; a good aerodynimisit will always exploit every little loophole the rules gives them when it comes to gaining aerodynamic advantages (Red Bull's double diffuser comes to mind).

Anyways, I agree with you, to many restrictions on the drive-train regulations and too broad on the rules for the chassis; the perfect recipe for a boring and un-innovative racing series. Sad... They had such a great opportunity to create something truly new and innovative. Guess the dinosaurs at the FIA couldn't think out of the box for once.

Sounded nice while it lasted. Thanks for digging out the regulations and going over them.

frmercado | July 16, 2014

You have to submit a new battery chemistry 3 months in advance!! Talk about stifling innovation. I think that throws out the window the possibility of prototyping and trying a new battery chemistry race after race or even two or three in the same race. The one thing that is holding back ev technology the most gets over regulated. Bravo FIA for doing a shitty job, once again.

Its so infuriating to see how the FIA wants to have absolute control over every technical aspect of the series and by doing so they kill any fast tracking of any new technology that could emerge from this series.

paigerama | March 23, 2015

Tesla Club LA will be at Formula E with RUSHX! We want Tesla there! And we really want to support the idea of battery swap over switching out cars, so if we keep the dialogue open and stay visible, hopefully Formula E will do it next year!

Timo | March 24, 2015

I wonder if you could do a really really fast charging instead of battery swap or switch cars. Battery size isn't huge and it is using very high power density batteries (otherwise, not enough power). So a couple of very high amp cables could do a high-power charging. Lets say 2000A*1000V=2000kW charging. Battery capacity is limited to 28kWh or 100800 kWseconds , so 100800/2000 = 50.4 second charge.

You require 60+C battery cells to do that, but there are LiFePO4 -based Li-ion batteries that can do that.

Opafiets | April 9, 2015

Another option is to run two races with the lowest combined time the winner. Similar to bicycle stage races. This would add quite a bit from a spectator standpoint.

Juggernaut | April 10, 2015

Would be interesting to see a 500 mile race at a road coarse with Teslas and superchargers. Might take a while but the strategies would be neat to see play out.