Formula E racing has been attracting increased attention from car manufacturers who see a presence there as a perfect positioning for their mainstream electric car strategies. Earlier editions have seen the likes of Jaguar and Audi field cars, with Renault as an early entrant. Porsche too has announced their intention to field cars from end 2019. But it is round five that will debut with a season opening race in Saudi Arabia that will see some of the most significant changes.
At the top of the list is the rolling out of the second generation race car with 250 kW of power and twice the storage capacity of the Gen 1 car. This will mean that there will no longer be any swapping of cars mid-race. Also this time there will be 22 cars in the line up with eleven teams participating. The Renault team is being replaced by Nissan, who have recently marked their lead-in to the season with the unveiling of the car at the last race of this season in New York.
“Season 5 for Nissan has now officially begun,” Nissan Global Motorsport Director Michael Carcamo said. “Our goal is to be as best prepared as we can be and we’ve been laying the groundwork for quite some time. As part of our preparations for our Season 5 debut, I’ve been on site at each race this season to take a close look at the championship and our competitors.
Carcamo said Nissan plans to use its EV expertise to ensure the team hits energy management targets on the track.
“We’ve certainly observed that energy management is the key to success in this championship,” Carcamo said. “For Nissan, the Formula E championship is a high-speed laboratory. We’re going to use our road car EV experience on the track, but we’ll also take what we learn trackside and use that for the road cars of tomorrow.”
The Gen2 cars have a top speed of 280 km/h and are able to hit the standing 100 in 2.8 seconds.
The second change is to a format of timed races that will see the cars for 45 minutes and then on to the chequered flag.
In a very video game manner, drivers can also get a power boost in addition to their Fanboost by driving through a marked out activation zone that gives them an extra 25 kW over their regular 200 kW. The boost will show up on the new halo protection rigs with suitable lighting.
This year, BMW and Nissan join in as manufacturer teams, adding on to Audi, DS and Jaguar taking the tally to eleven teams altogether and 22 cars.