Electric motors and their high, instantly-delivered torque are by no means the best friends of conventional gearboxes. That’s why most modern electrics run a sort of direct drive from the motor to the wheels – it promises simplicity and much increased reliability.
However, simply because very few have tried it successfully doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Check out this lap of the Donington Park circuit aboard an all-electric Formula E car, and hear all the shifting that’s going on. We imagine there must have been many discussions in regards to making these battery-powered cars as close to regular petrol-burning ones in the way they’re perceived by the audience.
It actually sounds like fun, and we imagine it must be a pretty special feeling to shift gears and get instant surge with zero delay, and then have the surge continue with the same vigor until shifting is required again, and so on.
Interestingly, in their quest to make Formula E entertaining to watch, those behind it have actually made the car slightly noisier than a regular road car which makes 70 db – the Spark-Renault SRT_01E (the Formula E car) peaks at 80 db.
By Andrei Nedelea