McLaren Applied Technologies to supply next generation Formula E battery
McLaren Applied Technologies has won the tender to supply the next generation of battery for the FIA Formula E Championship for season five and six of the all-electric championship, it has been revealed.
The decision to announce the successful applicant was delayed by three months in order for the FIA and specially hired independent electrical engineering evaluators to go through the applicants.
It was also decided to limit the term of this agreement to two seasons in light of the ongoing rapid development of battery technology.
McLaren will build, develop and supply the new batteries, which will see a useable energy of 54kWph and a maximum power use of 250kW.
The battery element of the new package, which follows the championship’s technical road map of ‘one car per driver’ will be vital in ensuring that the overall package can cope with the new demands for a full race distance.
The maximum power release in qualifying is targeted at 250kW, while in the race it will be 220kW and 250kW with Fanboost.
The tender initially outlined that a test battery should be ready for teams in November 2017 and that a first crash test session complying with all FIA safety requirements shall be completed by June 2017 at the latest.
It remains to be seen if this time-frame will be modified after the late decision after extended evaluation of all the applicants.
As detailed by Motorsport.com over the last three months, other applicants or those showing interest are believed to have been the current battery supplier Williams Advanced Engineering, Renault, DS, Mahindra, SAFT, Panasonic and Porsche.
The FIA has approved the introduction of a “power ramp down” where cars that have exceeded the maximum allowed power usage during the race, must linearly ramp down to 0kW use of energy within five seconds on track.
The car’s rain light and ready-to-move light must flash to alert other drivers on track. After the car crosses the pit-in line in the first car, or the finish line in the second car, the driver must be able to reactivate the MGU power to continue the race, or return to the pits.
This amendment is designed to make the concept of drivers exceeding their power usage easier for spectators to follow.
The marketing rights to the deal are not known, but the FIA retains the right to grant no marketing rights and insist on unbranded batteries.
However, it is believed that discussions between the FIA, Formula E Holdings and the successful applicant will see branded batteries in the championship from 2018 onwards.
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