jlsoaz
Posts: 581
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:57 pm
Delivery Date: 10 Oct 2012
Leaf Number: 24218
Location: Southern Arizona, USA

Formula E and other electric vehicle racing

Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:43 pm

Going by the calendar, the Formula E series will in the coming months be making stops in Mexico City, New York City and Montreal:

http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/calendar/

I caught the tail end of the awards ceremony for Buenos Aires last night on TV. I have always been a bit wary of the fact that they seem to have gone with such a small kWh battery (only a fraction of the size of a Tesla Model S battery, last I checked) and two whole cars per race (rather than changing the pack out of the cars). On the other hand, I haven't heard anything about major safety-related incidents, so if their approach seems overly cautious, it does appear so far to be comparatively safe. I do wonder why, if they were going to avoid charging during races, and if they were going to avoid larger battery packs.... why didn't they engage in some sort of pack swapping process? Well, in the end, maybe swapping well-maintained cars is the best answer.

There was I think something else in the news recently about a proposed separate series featuring Teslas? Something like that. Perhaps this series could provide a bit of competition.

There have also been other indications of a swing in some mainstream established racing teams toward electrification considerations.

Although it could be argued that there are some negatives in going toward electrification (does lower noise level equal less excitement?) on balance I have enjoyed seeing some move toward electrification. If part of racing is to see the latest technological innovation on display and competing, then electrification has to be prominently included in all of that. Although I'm sure EVs can be built to do the same speeds as hydrocarbon-burners, my hope is that speeds will give way to safety considerations.

It would be interesting to me to see (maybe this has already been done?) a race whose rules do not dictate an energy conversion technology so much as an amount of energy and appropriate safety regulations for each technology choice, and then let the teams decide how they will go the distance in the least amount of time.

Opinions my own.
josh@jlaz.com
near Tucson, AZ, USA
Former lessee 2012 SL
http://www.pluginamerica.org/surveys/batteries/leaf/vehicle.php?vid=229
opinions expressed are my own

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