Formula E is set to introduce its third-generation race car design come Season 9 (previously the 2022/2023 season), with the aim being to improve the performance over the current Gen2 car by increasing power and reducing weight.
New fast charging of the battery in the Gen3 car will also be introduced, meaning the race length could potentially be increased.
Motorsport’s organizing body, the FIA, showed the car to teams this week in Valencia, Spain, where official pre-season testing for Season 8 is currently underway. Season 8 kicks off in late January with the Diriyah ePrix in Saudi Arabia.
For the Gen3 car’s chassis, the length and width has been reduced slightly to 5,000 and 1,700 millimeters, respectively, and the target weight of the complete car including the driver has been reduced to about 1,720 pounds, down from the current 1,984 pounds. The chassis still features an open cockpit with a halo protection system.
For the battery, the organizers have set a weight of 626 pounds, down from 848 pounds at present. Fast charging will be capped at a 600 kilowatts and will be allowed for 30 seconds in the race. This is expected to provide an extra 4 kilowatt-hours of juice.
Teaser for Formula E Gen3 race car
While the current Gen2 car features a single electric motor-generator at the rear, the Gen3 car has one at both axles. The front motor-generator is rated at 335 hp and the rear at 470 hp. According to the organizers, the motors convert about 90% of the battery’s electrical energy into motion. Compare that with an internal-combustion engine which at most uses about 40% of the stored energy in fuel for motion.
The addition of a second motor-generator also means more brake energy regeneration. According to the organizers, at least 40% of the energy used in a race will come from regenerative braking. The extra stopping power means the Gen3 car also doesn’t require conventional hydraulic brakes at the rear.
Top speed of the Gen3 car is about 200 mph.
Uniquely, Formula E has also addressed the life cycle of the Gen3 car and its parts. For example, broken carbon-fiber parts can be recycled into new fibers for use in other applications. The tires, whose material can also be recycled, will feature 26% sustainable materials.
Teams are set to take delivery of the Gen3 car in spring 2022.