Formula E Tech Will Take Years To Reach Production Cars, Says Audi

This upcoming weekend marks the start of the fifth season of Formula E, bringing even more automakers to the grid thanks to the arrival of BMW and Nissan. Meanwhile, the 2019-2020 season will see Porsche and Mercedes-Benz join in as well.

Meanwhile, the current grid also features Jaguar, DS, Mahindra, NIO and Audi, the latter now entering its sophomore year as far as the electric race series is concerned.

For them, racing in Formula E is more about what they could learn about this technology and its potential applications in future production models, as reported by Automotive News Europe.

“Last year was our first works team,” stated Audi Formula E project leader, Tristan Summerscale. “Therefore, what we develop on the race track has not yet found its way into the production-car side of things. Long term, that will change.”

One of the challenges, for example, is that Audi uses a drivetrain that’s specifically tuned for a McLaren battery pack with a range of 900 volts, which is a lot more than what you have with production electric cars. Another challenge is that as per Formula E rules, the motor-generator unit, inverter and the transmission are all sealed for the entire season – this in turn means that teams can’t perform frequent upgrades, thus delaying overall development.

However, the sealed components also help keep costs down, which is why Formula E is so appealing right now to automakers who are generally used to spending hundreds of millions of dollars/euros on Le Mans or Formula One racers.

“It’s very cost-effective at the moment,” added Summerscale, referring to Formula E regulations that stipulate no car can cost more than 817,300 euros ($929,400). By comparison, a complete LMP1 [Le Mans] car would cost millions.

Eventually, Formula E teams will want full development control over the battery pack, which in turn should help this advanced EV tech trickle down into regular production models.

“For the next six years it’s not going to be possible, but in the long term it has to go in that direction. It’s marketing for your product, and you want to highlight your technology advantage over rivals. Ultimately, the battery is the main way to do that,” concluded the Audi exec.


    Well maybe in the meantime…focus on the “fan interactivity” element via VR / AR setups.

Aston Martin Valkyrie Gets Potent AMR Track Performance Pack

The new Aston Martin Valkyrie will definitely be worth the wait.

2020 GMC Sierra HD Has Brains, Brawn And 15 Cameras That Let You See Through Its Trailer

The new 2020 GMC Sierra Heavy Duty is bigger and bolder than ever.

Ford GT Lays Waste To Dodge Demon In 1/2 Mile Drag Race

The Dodge Challenger Demon has almost 200 more horsepower than the Ford GT – but it’s not enough.

This 1962 Corvette Restomod Will Cost You A Pretty Penny

It’s up for sale on eBay and, given its price, we’re curious to see if it’ll find a new owner.

Tesla’s China Edition Model 3 Performance Has A Special Set Of Wheels

Tesla Model 3 Performance owners in China have exclusive wheels to enjoy.

Lamborghini Urus Raises The Bar For What A Super SUV Can Do

The performance on tap is pretty extraordinary, and the Urus won’t mind you taking it off road, either.

Grab These ‘VETTE C8’ California Plates For Your Mid-Engine 2020 Corvette

We don’t expect these perfect C8 Corvette plates to stick around for long.

FCA To Launch Car-Sharing And Subscription Pilot Program In Boston

Participants will be permitted to change vehicles up to six times during the three-month trial period.

One-Off Toyota Supra’s Phantom Grey Paint NOT BMW’s Frozen Grey

Despite looking similar, Toyota told us the color is unique to Supra and “not shared with any BMWs”.

One-Off Ferrari SP30 Is Looking For A New Home… Again

The one-off supercar has just 65 miles on the odo and will be auctioned off by RMSothebys next month.