The FIA Formula E World Championship today unveiled the long-awaited Spark-Renault SRT_01E at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt. The Formula E is an electric car racing world championship that's set to launch its first season in Sept. 2014. Spark-Renault will build 42 of the SRT_01E's, which can race at speed up to 130 miles/hr, for the 10 teams that will participate in the series.
The SRT_01E was designed over the last 10 months by a consortium of companies led by Formula E subsidiary, Spark Racing Technology. That consortium included Dallara, who designed the carbon-fiber monocoque chassis, McLaren Electronics Systems, who is designing and supplying the battery packs and battery management systems, and Renault, who is overseeing system integration, powertrain optimisation, and electrical safety. Spark Racing Technology was derived from an earlier electric race car organization, Formulec.
Each of the 10 teams will have two drivers apiece, and each driver will have two cars. That makes 40 cars, with the remaining two cars to be used for testing.
The cars support 20-25 minutes of racing time apiece, and Formula E races are to be 60 minutes in length. Drivers will switch cars halfway through the race, hence the need for two cars per driver.
“I congratulate all partners involved in the production of the fully-electric SRT_01E car – it is a fantastic achievement,” said FIA President Jean Todt. “The innovative technology deployed follows the best environmental practices, highlighting the potential of the Formula E Championship to spark a revolution in the development of new electromobility systems, not just for motorsport but also for everyday use. This new championship builds on the FIA’s traditional role as a leading promoter of innovation, technology and performance in the automotive sector.”
Alejandro Agag, CEO of Championship promoter Formula E Holdings, said: “With Formula E being an open championship, the series gives manufacturers the opportunity to showcase their electrical energy innovations and we’re delighted to have Spark Racing Technology as the first, and for them to produce our new fully-electric Formula E car. Spark has enlisted the very best companies in motorsport to aid with its development, with Dallara, Renault, McLaren, Williams and Michelin all leaders in their respective fields and it’s an honour to welcome them here today. The Frankfurt Motor Show is also the perfect environment to reveal our new car. Many leading manufacturers at the Show today are unveiling their new electric road cars but not just one offs, full car ranges, demonstrating how times have changed and why the time is right to launch the new FIA Formula E Championship.”
Frédéric Vasseur, President of Spark Racing Technology, added: “I am extremely proud and happy to work with the partners Spark has gathered together to form this unique consortium, a first in the history of motorsport. I regard each and every one of these partners with the highest esteem, I have worked with them throughout my career and they have accompanied me in a lot of the successes I have been fortunate to achieve in my other activities in traditional motorsport. All consortium members are driven by a motivation to make this innovative project a success.”
Patrice Ratti, CEO of Renault Sport Technologies, said: “As a global leader for the production of electric vehicles and with a unique expertise in motorsports ever since the company was founded, the choice of Renault as technical partner to develop the fully-electric SRT_01E car for the FIA Formula E championship was obvious. Renault engineers and motorsport experts are directly contributing to the overall powertrain architecture and are in charge of electric systems' specifications and integration, benefiting from the experience acquired while developing the new 2014 Renault-Energy-F1 Power Unit. Renault is also working with Spark to enhance the performance and safety level of the SRT_01E car powertrain. The objective is to design an outstanding race car that will be clean, reliable, safe as well as fast and responsive.”
Peter van Manen, Managing Director of McLaren Electronic Systems, said: “These cars are going to be brilliant racing through the centres of cities. Electric motors deliver instant torque and acceleration and that is what McLaren is all about. Performance and efficiency. Our electric motor, developed originally for the McLaren P1™, has the highest power-to-weight ratio in the world. McLaren is proud to provide the performance behind Formula E.”
Sir Frank Williams, Founder and Team Principal of Williams, commented; "Motorsport is moving towards a greener future and the FIA Formula E Championship will be a prime opportunity to showcase the latest green technology that has its origins in motor racing. Williams has a track record in developing hybrid technologies and we are proud to be supplying the battery and battery management system for the car that is being launched today. These components will be a pivotal part of what makes the car so green and the team at Williams Advanced Engineering is working hard to develop a battery system that is reliable and makes for excellent racing."
Andrea Pontremoli, CEO of Dallara Automobili, said: “With our single-seater cars running successfully in the most important categories and championships all over the world, we could not lose the opportunity to be part of the new Formula E exciting challenge and we are very thankful to our long term partner Frédéric Vasseur for the credit he gave us. We will use all our experience and know how to design and build the best possible chassis in terms of performance, reliability, ease of use and safety. The safety aspect is particularly important for us and we are working hard with Spark and the FIA to set new safety standards for such an innovative championship.”
Source: Electric Race News