The third generation Formula E car shows the future of electric cars

Motorsports has always been a testing platform for new car technologies, and as the world transitions to electric cars, the responsibility will fall to the EV series like the Formula E World Championship. While the series doesn’t have the influence of Formula 1 and WRC yet, it probably won’t be long for Formula E to become a household name like never before.

With teams dispatched by Jaguar, Maserati, Nissan, Porsche, DS for French cars and China’s NIO, the world’s car giants are already using the series to develop future EV technologies, and the recent launch of the Gen 3 Formula E car in Monaco shows that racing cars are producing energy-efficient levels. Energy an internal combustion group can only dream of.

3rd generation Formula E
Set to appear in the ninth season of the series, third-generation Formula E cars have been designed with engineers working in concert with sustainability experts to pioneer cutting-edge technologies in electric vehicles. Breaking the tradition of tweaking and perfecting aerodynamics in motorsports, new cars instead focus on software engineering with performance upgrades intended to be delivered in the form of updates to the racing cars’ existing computers.

Upgrades on Generation 2
Right away, the Generation 3 cars come with an upgrade everyone can get their hands on: they’re faster than ever. Top speeds in excess of 200mph have been promised for the first time, as well as a car built specifically for street circuits where Formula E fans around the world can expect some exciting racing.

Efficiency is the headline for Generation 3 cars, with electronic motors promising that 95% of the energy drawn from the battery will be used for propulsion. For comparison, everyday ICEs can manage only 30-35% thermal efficiency while modern Formula 1 engines reach this figure around 50%, which means that half of the fuel burned goes to waste in the form of frictional and heat losses.

Formula E says that roughly 40% of the power that third-generation cars use at racing distance will come from regenerative braking and they have completely done away with the rear hydraulic brakes because the front discs plus regeneration are mission-level.

In addition to the 350 kW engine on the rear axle, the third-generation cars will get a 250 kW engine at the front, making them the first FIA Formula cars with all-wheel drive (not counting some short F1 trials) with a total of 600 kW, or about 800 horsepower available. Under the driver’s right foot.

Ariel rear view of the Gen 3 Formula E in the shape of an arrow.

Super fast charging
Charging’s Another area where Gen 3 cars offer these types is the sport’s sporty body with promising speeds of 600 kWh far exceeding the faster 350 kWh chargers commercially available today. If today’s fastest chargers can add 200 miles of range to the Lucid Air in about 15 minutes, imagine how easy it will be to charge when 600kWh Formula E units make their way to the public. Someday in the not-too-distant future, charging your electric car will take the same amount of time it takes to stop fueling today and we can’t wait for that to happen.

Close-up of the new Formula E Gen 3

Underpinning all this performance is the Gen 3’s focus on sustainability, which has been a mainstay of the series since day one and is progressing even further with the latest generation. With every component and consumer thought of from a life-cycle point of view, new cars rely more than ever on natural materials and recycling in line with Formula E’s net zero values.

The minerals used in the batteries must be sustainably extracted, with the cells reused and recycled after the race days are over. Recycled flax and carbon fibers harvested from crashed Gen 2 cars are used to make the bodywork, while natural rubber and fibers make up 26% of Gen 3 tires. All of those tires will be recycled after use, naturally.

“On a technology and environmental front, Gen3 is setting new standards in the sport. The FIA ​​and Formula E development team have done a fantastic job, and I thank them for their hard work on this project. I am pleased to see so many leading manufacturers have already signed up for the next era of the championship and are waiting for Gen3 to emerge. Competitive for the first time in the ninth season with great anticipation.” Mohammed bin Sulayem, President of the International Automobile Federation

The ninth season of the FIA ​​Formula E World Championship begins in January 2023.

RELATED: Koenigsegg ‘Quark’ Electric Motor Weighs 63 Pounds, Makes 335 Horsepower

Images are from Formula E licensed by CC BY 2.0.

James Walker is an automotive journalist for Torque News focusing on Lucid Motors. If he has wheels he’s interested, and he’s looking forward to seeing the kind of cars the electric car revolution brings us. Whether it’s fast or slow, new or old, James wants to take a look around and share it in print and on video, ideally with a few quirky ways involved. You can contact James on Twitterand Instagram and LinkedIn.

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