Many people know about Formula 1, where teams compete by racing specialized internal combustion engine cars. However, not many people know about the equivalent for battery-powered supercars, the Formula E. Nor do they know about how it has helped advance commercial electric vehicles in general.
In this article, I bring you everything you need to know about Formula E.
What is the Formula E?
Formula E is run by the same body that runs Formula 1, and the racing rules and point system are similar. However, there are a few key differences.
The main difference is that Formula E cars are purely electric, while the Formula 1 contenders are gas-powered.
Formula E also takes place on tight street circuits in cities like Rome, Zurich, Paris, Hong Kong, and New York.
All the cars taking part in Formula E have the same body, battery, and tires. However, the teams may try to outdo each other with software and driving techniques. Due to the closeness in performance, there is a greater chance of having different winners for races, making the races more competitive.
Formula E completes all its races in one day and fans can participate by voting to give drivers fan boosts of five seconds of power. This is a key differentiator for its predecessor where the fans have no involvement in the race except to cheer on their favorite racers.
The Formula E racing experience is different, and you will be disappointed if you expect the sounds of Formula 1 cars because you will be treated to an interesting whinnying sound, similar to what you hear inside a spaceship.
Formula E has recently upgraded the cars with the help of Lucid Motors, adding more batteries and increasing the max charging speed to 800 kW during pit stops.
Effects of the Formula E on electric cars in general
Some of the tech first pioneered in the electric race track has ended up being applied to non-racing electric cars. For example, the official charging partner of the races, ABB, claims that solving the challenge of an efficient pit stop will supply it with valuable data to help in improving the charging experience and duration of everyday EVs.
Other advantages include improving how regenerative braking works, optimizing the software that runs the cars, and energy management.
Arguably best of all is the positive attention Formula E can bring to electric cars generally and the city where the races are performed as citizens will be treated to electric vehicle technology at its finest.