Formula E: overtaking climate change through electrification
Every year, motorsport continues to evolve, which is a challenge, but also an opportunity, for many reasons.
But there is one that stands out as one of the pioneering forces of climate change action among racing teams, social impact through interaction with communities across the globe, and innovation that allows the electric vehicle (EV) to grow exponentially in such a short period.
That motorsport is Formula E and it showcases the sheer excitement around electrification and the performance that can be achieved through collaboration on such a critical cause. Many partners join the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship for different purposes under the same umbrella; to achieve the same overall outcome.
During season 8 of the globally-renowned, electrified motorsport, I was able to get behind the scenes at the London E-Prix—a double header that made it clear just how versatile EVs really are.
It starts with EV—The chosen chariot of Formula E
With so many businesses and advocates coming together, the Formula E car is definitely the star of the show. Slowly but surely, the organisation has created a vehicle that leverages the best of electric propulsion and other industry technologies and components.
The previous generation Formula E car has seen much of the world and was used as a tool to entice organisations and fans to join the movement. But, the 9th season begins mid-January and is bringing a much-anticipated EV into the spotlight.
Generation 3 of the Formula E car is characterised as being faster, lighter, smaller, and more nimble than any of its predecessors, but the EV is a tool to showcase how the teams’ engineers work together to get the most out of a more sustainable, in fact, incredible machine.
“The reality is that electric vehicles are already in the mass market solution and on our streets. From the regulatory perspective, all governments, the United Nations, and all car manufacturers are switching to electric vehicle production as the one and only solution,” says Julia Pallé, Sustainability Director at Formula E.
“I'm very excited about Gen 3 because it is really the pinnacle of what you can achieve in terms of a sustainable racing car. This is really the maximum you can get in terms of technology performance and sustainability in electric racing.”
Partnerships enable the race to electrification
While Formula E has come to our attention in recent years, many fans have been following the electric motorsport since it began. It is almost a decade old and during that time, brought together many partner organisations to adapt and overcome electrification challenges to learn lessons that can be applied to the wider industrial transformation.
From the tyres to the charging points, Formula E prides itself on removing barriers through innovation and collaboration with some of the leading organisations in the automotive and technology industries.
The official partner ABB is an influential force in electric mobility. Not only does it bring its technical expertise to the pits, but it takes away lessons in charging and mobility infrastructure that can be applied at home, on business premises, and across cities to decarbonise transport.
Further to ABB’s contribution to motorsport, the teams and their sponsors are heavily involved, allowing them to show how they leverage data in a bid to be the fastest on the track and the most effective in decarbonising their operations.
“The technology around electric vehicles, mostly in the formula cars, is about software, which is extremely important because the EVs that we purchase and drive are very much based on the software,” says Pallé.
“This is really the heart of technology. What is interesting is that the technology developed in the garage from the software perspective is also transferred into the everyday car that you and I are driving recently.
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