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Gen 3 Fast Charging Talks Stall at Latest TWG

Talks concerning Formula E’s Gen 3 cars for 2022-23 continued last week…

Photo: Formula E

Details of the third iteration of ABB FIA Formula E Championship cars were discussed again at the latest Technical Working Group meeting last week, with fast charging talks appearing to be put on hold.

A variety of topics are believed to have been discussed regarding the technical package of the Gen 3 cars which will come into effect for the 2022-23 season.

The current Gen 2 cars, which were introduced this season, have had their lifespan extended for a fourth season until 2021-22, to allow for more time to confirm crucial decisions on the Gen 3 cars, such as whether to use an all-wheel or rear-wheel-drive platform.

One of the key topics discussed at prior TWGs was the possible introduction of fast charging for the third-gen cars, but this is understood to have stalled due to the uncertainty surrounding the technology and its implementation into the championship format.

E-racing365 understands that the technology could still be showcased in a non-competitive format such as demonstrations, rather than it being an integral part of the races themselves.

Key manufacturer figures were cautious about fast charging prior to the meeting last week.

“In Season Nine we do have a situation where us as manufacturers have a story to be told to the spectator, to the audience,” head of Audi Sport Dieter Gass told e-racing365 in January.

“There are all sorts of discussions and one of them is [rapid charging] because for sure it will be an important topic on the road.

“Yes, it is interesting but it is a matter of how it is being done and to introduce it into a racing situation in a reasonable way.

“You will have the discussion on whether it will be common fast charging or will everyone do it their own way.”

The TWG sits with delegates from each of the 12 teams that will compete next season, including newcomer Porsche, and is chaired by FIA technical delegate Laurent Arnaud and Benjamin Caron, its technical delegate for electronics.

EV Messaging Key to Gen 3 Design

DS Performance chief Xavier Mestelan-Pinon largely agreed with Gass’ overview of the direction for Formula E in Gen 3 and its pathway there.

“We have to be clear on what we want with fast charging in all areas,” Mestelan-Pinon told e-racing365 last month.

“Is it important to show we can charge the car very fast? But now it is completely impossible to charge a car in ten seconds or whatever.”

Mestelan-Pinon said that as well as road relevancy and other key technical messages, the spectacle of Formula E as a whole also needs to be considered in detail.

“So what is the story we want to show to TV, media, etc.? This we must define first and then work on details after that,” he said.

“We have to stop and think about energy or do we talk race pace at full throttle or keep in mind that energy for electric cars is important and how we save and recapture it.

“These are key things that we discuss and soon need to make decision on.”

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

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Chris Llana

    March 4, 2019 at 10:44 am

    Formula E absolutely needs all-wheel-drive — for balanced, much more effective four-wheel magnetic/regenerative braking, as well as better handling — if it wants to remain relevant to cutting-edge electric road cars.

  2. Avatar

    hellothere

    March 4, 2019 at 11:05 am

    RWD should remain if these type of tracks are going to continue, making AWD will remove the danger of low grip cars in narrow tracks.

    • Avatar

      Chris Llana

      March 4, 2019 at 1:18 pm

      It seems you’re saying AWD cars would be safer. Is that a bad thing?

  3. Avatar

    Kris G.

    March 11, 2019 at 8:15 am

    Before fast charging the championship has to open battery development, so all involved can accelerate the introduction of solid-state-batteries which will allow full charges from 0 to 100% in 15 minutes. Only then that fast charging will make any sense.

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