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Rapid Charging Pit Stops Get Green Light

Gen 3 Formula E cars set to include mid-race rapid charging pit stops…

Photo: Formula E

The next generation of Formula E car for 2022 is set to include rapid charging, while cars will employ full front axle regeneration and two-wheel-drive designs.

Plans to introduce mid-race recharging and ensure the cars remain challenging to drive have largely been agreed upon for the Gen 3 design that will come into play for the 2022-23 season.

Other key criteria such as full front axle energy recuperation will allow designers to reduce the battery’s weight as more energy can be gained mid-race.

E-racing365 has learned that the FIA will set out a new and separate tender to companies that could supply rapid charging infrastructure and hardware capable of charging a car within approximately 30 seconds.

Professor Burkhard Goeschel, President of the FIA’s Electric and New Energy Championship Commission (ENECC) highlighted the topic of rapid charging and using such technology in Formula E by way of pit stops.

“That is still a challenge because you see the race duration which is less than one hour and we don’t get more time, so if you go to fast charging it will be short,” Goeschel told e-racing365.

“We cannot fill up the whole battery with energy so even then it has to take seconds, not minutes, but seconds.

“That means that the charging power is becoming very high and so we have to manage it because if the charging partner power is becoming high then it’s influencing the technology and the chemistry of the battery because batteries are normally slow.

“The processes on the electrodes are normally slow and if you are going far beyond you have to take care about the chemistry of the battery electrodes and how to manage that.”

Goeschel also detailed how he and the FIA have to delicately balance the rapid charging concept in order to not create any reliability issues in the new Gen 3 package.

“I have to say that fast charging is forcing us to go a little bit to the extreme and so we have to look how we save on this side that we are not damaging the battery because it has a lifecycle of a full season.

“Now we are investigating and we are preparing a tender for that, but we have to investigate how to handle this issue.”

The main concern is believed to be around how rapid charging could affect the chemistry of the Gen 3 battery.

The charging of batteries in such a short time using, for example, 800-1000 V could have detrimental impacts on chemicals used in the battery and result in thermal issues.

“Our intention is to go in this [rapid charging] direction because it is interesting from a sporting perspective,” said Goeschel.

“But it is also interesting from the technology side because everybody wants to reduce the charging time and it might be that we can make a step forward to improve that.”

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

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Chris Llana

    December 9, 2019 at 10:50 am

    Charging that quickly is just a crazy idea, and just because it’s “interesting from a sporting perspective”? They should bring in an engineer with more sanity.

    If they are going to implement front-axle energy recuperation, they could use that MGU for AWD which would make a better car. Instead, the traditionalists have overcome progress. Preserve the good old past for posterity, apparently.

    Just crazy.

  2. Avatar

    T

    December 9, 2019 at 12:39 pm

    NOOOOOOOO!!!!! WHY.. 🤣

    I just wanted one with 4WD. I just wanted one. 😌

  3. Avatar

    koko

    December 14, 2019 at 2:13 pm

    Formula E is run by Formula One caretakers, they dont want to show the true speed of electric cars and get circuit records like they got some hill climbing ones…

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