The idea was to open up the competition to manufacturers component by component but for batteries this won’t happen before 2025 at least. Formula E’s Alejandro Agag revealed that the electric racing series will stick to a standard battery for another 7 years, that is until season 11.
Initially, Formula E had set an aggressive target to open up the competition for batteries within the first five seasons. The latest statement of Alejandro Agag though wants to protect even the third generation of the e-racer due by 2025 from it:
“The third cycle should be a standard battery. I think the manufacturers are all quite happy with cost control.”
One battery for all shall prevent cost to explode. Still, Agag threw a few ideas into the round such as a standardised cell design which would then allow manufacturers to assemble their battery packs as they wish, or to authorise two or three manufacturers prior.
Previously, the honour laid with Williams Advanced Engineering alone. The company had lost the latest tender though and so this season 2018/19 will see a battery by McLaren Applied Technologies to sit in the second generation of all-electric racers (we reported).
Manufacturers in the Formula E are currently able to design their own motor, gearbox, and inverter. In the short-term, there may be additional elements opened to customisation such as all-wheel-drive, torque vectoring, energy harvesting from the front axle and brake-by-wire.