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Twin-MGU Designs Set to Be Outlawed

Nissan forced to heavily modify its powertrain for next season amid likely twin-MGU ban…

Photo: Formula E

The use of twin-MGU powertrains is expected to be outlawed in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship beginning next season, following recent controversy surrounding the technology.

Plans to end the possibility of using a dual-motor setup, a version of which has been run by Nissan e.dams this season, are expected to be ratified in Friday’s FIA World Motorsport Council meeting.

Should the proposal be rubber-stamped, it would force Nissan to modify its technical setup for the 2019-20 campaign to employ a single-MGU solution.

The issue has its roots in suspicions held by many of Nissan’s rival Formula E manufacturers that its current powertrain could incorporate the use of a secondary energy storage within one of its MGUs.

It’s understood that additions to the technical regulations are being sought to include an explicit article detailing that the use of an MGU is for power conversion only.

E-racing365 initially revealed in September that Nissan was using a twin-MGU powertrain design incorporating motors supplied by McLaren Applied Technologies, with the Integral Powertrain company also a key supplier to the setup.

Details of a lengthy discussion in order to stop the possibility of teams running a twin-MGU setup next season were uncovered in April at the Rome E-Prix, meanwhile.

At the event’s pre-event press conference, Nissan global motorsport director Michael Carcamo dismissed a question posed by e-racing365 on whether it would be forced to scrap its existing powertrain setup, stating that Nissan “would not discuss any technical developments.”

An e-vote between manufacturers took place following the last Technical Working Group meeting in May, focusing on several key points related to MGUs.

The first is believed to have been a clearer definition of an MGU and how it should be used within a Formula E powertrain.

The second is understood to be a clear undertaking that only one MGU can be used in powertrains homologated for 2019-20 onwards.

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

    June 13, 2019 at 11:14 am

    What about the use of two MGUs — one MGU per axle — in an AWD setup? Has AWG been definitively eliminated from future designs? Seems stupid to allow the use of a generator on the front axle for magnetic braking, without also allowing the use of that same generator/motor for propulsion.

  2. Avatar

    Mcc

    June 13, 2019 at 3:24 pm

    So much whining. The Nissan cars obviously struggle w/ efficiency… but they’re quicker at qualifying.
    This is the expected result w/ 2 generators. If there were hidden batt capacity, it wouldnt be a ‘rumor’.
    Just usual FE personalities complaining.

  3. Avatar

    Chris

    June 15, 2019 at 4:29 am

    I want to see more details on how this differs from the twin motor “pancake” design that DS virgin had in season 2 and 3, maybe 4. Because that design seemed to hurt them in efficiency a lot.

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