Formula E Gets Power Boost For Season 2 – Output Jumps From 150 kW to 170 kW

OCT 1 2015 BY MARK KANE 11

Formula E Pre-season testing at Donington Park - Nico Prost (Renault e.dams team)

Formula E Pre-season testing at Donington Park – Nico Prost (Renault e.dams team)

The FIA Formula E Championship made changes to power output of racers in season two.

Up to 170 kW of power (from the battery pack) will be available during races (instead of 150 kW in season one), while up to 200 kW during practice and qualifying sessions (no change).


170 kW in race mode and 28 kWh of energy
200 kW in practice and qualifying


Initially, power level during races was planed at just 133 kW for the first season, but FIA Formula E Championship set 150 kW before the start of the season.

That should translate to a little quicker races, but 170 kW is just 13% more and, with the same available energy, don’t expect any miracles when the lights turn green in Beijing on October 24.

“The change has been introduced following a number of tests by Williams Advanced Engineering, the sole battery supplier for Formula E, to assess the feasibility of a 30 per cent power increase. The batteries were initially designed to meet season one technical specifications of a maximum power of 133kW. This was later increased to 150kW ahead of the inaugural season.

Maximum power of 200kW will still be available during practice and qualifying sessions. The amount of energy that can be delivered to the powertrain by the RESS will remain limited to 28kWh.”

Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag commented:

“The development of future battery technologies is fundamental to the ethos of the championship. Formula E is all about showcasing the progression of electric vehicle technology and thanks to the battery development from Williams Advanced Engineering we will see faster, more efficient and exciting racing this coming season.”

Craig Wilson, managing director of Williams Advanced Engineering, said:

“Formula E is all about pushing electric vehicle technology to its limits and showcasing its evolution to the public. Williams Advanced Engineering is working on a diverse portfolio of electric and hybrid vehicle projects and the learnings from Formula E are invaluable in developing our technology.

During season two the batteries will now be operating at 30 per cent more power than they were initially designed for and we have upgraded certain components and worked closely with the teams to make sure that this is sustainable without significantly affecting reliability.”

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11 Comments on "Formula E Gets Power Boost For Season 2 – Output Jumps From 150 kW to 170 kW"

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Now, if only they would set up the races to allow battery swaps during pit stops, instead of running them as relay races, with drivers jumping from one car to another as the battery packs are exhausted.

If open wheel racing pit crew can change out a set of tires in just a few seconds, the Formula E teams should be able to engineer a way to do a battery swap almost as fast.

Well, I do no see the benefit of swapping for all of us.
Obviously faster but eventually when we will have more affordable EV we will not be able to swap batteries at home anyway.

I prefer that the Formula-E push advances in battery technology as it will benefit everyone: cars, trucks and motorbikes alike.

Exactly to the point.
Using swapping is not the proper way to push batteries development on itself.
It’s a cure for a weakness that doesn’t make anything stronger.
Formula E has an agenda very well plan for the advance of electric propulsion.

Using swapping has nothing to do with the development of batteries; in fact they already do this, just that they swap the rest of the car with it.

Battery development will really start when the teams are allowed to provide their own batteries, with no restriction on total energy, only on availible space in the car.

That will influence energy density and cost.

David Stone said:

“Battery development will really start when the teams are allowed to provide their own batteries, with no restriction on total energy, only on availible space in the car.”

So, the racing teams all have to use the same battery packs? And it looks like the two cars in the photos above are exactly the same except for paint jobs. Is Formula E racing more like NASCAR racing, rather than Formula 1 racing? That is, are all racecars required to be exactly alike, with the intent that competition be only between drivers, rather than the cars?

In the first season everything was the same.

2nd season will allow teams to have their own powertrain.

Should be more interesting, although we’ll see some teams stand out.

As for the battery, the aim is to get to a point where they run the whole race without the car swap.on a single battery, but for now the technology isn’t there. They’re looking for a significant improvement in the battery for the third season, wherever it may be developed.

To be honest I am perfectly happy with the current pitstops.
It lessens the chance of a better driver being beaten by a better pit crew or pit technology. Moves the balance back in favour of the drivers ability without really lessening the drama of the race at all for me.

I thank everyone who responded to my post. Personally, I don’t see that allowing drivers to switch cars during the race pushes advances in battery cell tech, any more that pack swapping does. Either swapping packs or swapping cars accomplishes, basically, the same purpose, of allowing longer EV races despite the limited energy that battery packs can store. I didn’t suggest that battery swapping because I think it would promote development of better batteries. I suggested it because that would allow Formula E racing to be more like open wheel (or Formula 1) racing using gasmobiles. And I don’t agree that there is no possible application for battery swapping. It’s true that it’s almost certainly not the future of the EV revolution for passenger cars, but I think there might be a use in long-haul heavy freight trucks. Given the limited energy that can be stored in current batteries, it might make sense to use battery swapping to enable heavy EV freight truck fleets to go long distances. Where the fleets travel along the same Interstate highways day after day, there might be a way to save quite a bit of money on fuel by setting up battery swap stations… Read more »

I agree. For one thing fast battery swaps make the race more exciting to watch.

Also, if you limit the team to only 2 battery packs, it promotes fast charging as well, since the depleted pack would have to finish charging in time for the next pit stop.

Considering a F1 car has over 500kw of power Formula E has a long way to go. Im hopeful some day F1 will be as fast(or faster) as today but zero emissions, most likely EV.

Still looking forward to getting season 2 of Formula E on track!

Is the power comparison an apples-to-apples comparison, or an apples-to-oranges comparison? Gas/petrol engines are rated (in HP ratings) at maximum power, but electric motors are rated at sustainable power.

Is your kW rating for Formula 1 engines just converting HP to kW? If so, then it’s an apples-to-oranges comparison.