One of the main concerns that the FIA Formula E is facing is about the batteries, as the current package developed by Wlliams Advanced Engineering is barely enough to do half of a race, leading to the car changes for the moment. According to the series staff, the situation will remain like this until the fifth season of the all-electric single-seater championship.
The plans for open powertrain development started this year, which made the cars a bit faster compared to the 2014/2015 season, and the next step was to open the creation of batteries to the manufacturers that compete in Formula E, expected to occur in the 2016/2017 season. But it seems that the open battery competition will be delayed to the fifth season, in 2018/2019, with the final goal being making a single car last the whole race without having to be parked as the juice runs out.
The whole problem lies in the fact that, even though the power department can progress really fast, the battery department will be some steps behind, and in the worst case the car would be fast as hell, but would only last a few laps. The other problem is that the development of better batteries is partially halted because of the dimensions of the Spark-Renault SRT01_E, as the space to pack the battery is simply too tight to make huge improvements, as there’s no way to see a huge improvement that would make the Formula E batteries last longer with less weight. Also, the chassis as it is will remain the only one on track for a few years in the future, which cuts the immediate possibility of a change that would open the way for good development.
Another possibility being considered is wireless charging, as Qualcomm, which one of the series partners, continues the development of the Halo system, that would use magnetic induction to transfer energy to the Formula E car without having to disassemble the battery.
PHOTO: FIA Formula E