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Clarity Sought on Nissan Powertrain

Clarification on the precise technical setup being used by Nissan is being sought…

Photo: Formula E

Further technical information and understanding of Nissan e.dams’ current Season Five powertrain is being looked into by the FIA, e-racing365 can reveal.

The move comes after a consensus was agreed for some technical clarity about the Japanese manufacturer’s powertrain concept with several rival manufacturers having raised questions at a recent Technical Working Group meeting.

It is believed that the precise area of the analysis centers around aspects of the Nissan IM01’s powertrain design which e-racing365 revealed last September was a dual-motor concept.

The team is known to have worked with electrical powertrain engineers from both the Integral Powertrain company and McLaren Applied Technologies on its 2018-19 package which was homologated by the FIA last summer.

Data from the Nissan powertrain and other information on its software functions is understood to have been voluntarily supplied by the team recently.

Areas of examination are understood to include specifics on the possible use and function of an epicyclic gearbox and how it works within the Nissan IM01’s twin-motor setup.

The 2018-19 Formula E technical regulations stipulate that any gearbox used can have a maximum of six ratios within it.

An epicyclic gearbox by nature has infinite ratios and is a version of a Continuously Variable Transmission.

Another area which may also have been looked into is aspects of the powertrain that may mimic a flywheel type device which could store and distribute energy.

Energy stored outside the RESS is prohibited in the rules. Additionally, any additional power coming via stored energy cannot, by regulation, go through or back through the power sensor from the supplied RESS.

It can also not be counted in the 52 kWh of usable energy or the power range of 200, 225 or 250 kW limits.

Nissan Comfortable on Concept Clarification Details

Depending on how Nissan has implemented its technical package for Season Five, it is believed that some of the benefits could include improved acceleration from slow speed corners compared with a single MGU setup.

Such traits have been commented on to e-racing365 by some rival drivers who have followed the Nissan cars closely in Season Five races.

When asked by e-racing365 in Hong Kong, Nissan e.dams’ technical director Vincent Gaillardot said that clarification on aspects of Formula E powertrains after homologation is not a new procedure.

“I will not go any more in detail, we have a concept, we also had some concepts in seasons two and three on which we asked for clarification,” said Gaillardot.

“Obviously, we are trying to see what is possible to do as a next step to the technology within the rules.”

Gaillardot acknowledged the reasons for added clarification and stated that the team had offered up data which is believed to have included details on the software that is being used by the team.

He also recognized that some of Nissan’s competitors could have “some possible variations of interpretation” on how the team is utilising its technical setup.

“Yes, I can understand [the concern], but honestly, we have been through the rules and the legality of every aspect of the different solution we have on our system,” Gaillardot told e-racing365.

“Now, obviously there are some possible variations of interpretation which is why we have asked for clarification.

“I know what we have done and how we have done it, which is the only thing I can say.”

The FIA declined to comment on the matter when contacted by e-racing365.

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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