The recent Formula E race in Monaco was the latest in a long series of auto races to take place in the Mediterranean city-state. Stoffel Vandoorne, driving for Mercedes-EQ, won that race, but it was a historic day for another reason. Formula E chose the Monaco E-Prix as the occasion to unveil its third-generation Formula E race car: the Gen3, which will make its racing debut in Season 9 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.
For decades, incremental improvements in motorsport have mostly been about aerodynamics. Now software engineering is the new battleground for innovation and competition. Performance upgrades to the Gen3 will be delivered as software updates directly to the car’s operating system.
The Gen3 car features a number of design, engineering and production innovations.
It’s the fastest Formula E car yet, with a top speed of over 322 kph (200 mph), and the most efficient formula racing car ever built. Formula E says more than 40% of the energy used in a race will be produced by regenerative braking.
The Gen3 sports two powertrains—250 kW in the front, and 350 kW at the rear. Its electric motors deliver power efficiency of 95%, compared to approximately 40% for an internal combustion engine.
The Gen3 can be charged at 600 kW—almost double the power of the fastest passenger car chargers—for additional energy during a race.
Sustainability is at the core of Formula E’s mission, and every aspect of Gen3 production has been redesigned with sustainable racing in mind. Formula E says the Gen3 batteries are made from sustainably-sourced minerals, and the cells will be reused and recycled at end of life.
The bodywork will use recycled carbon fiber from retired Gen2 cars, reducing the carbon footprint of the body production by over 10%. Natural rubber and recycled fibers will make up 26% of new Gen3 tires and all tires will be fully recycled after racing.
All Gen3 suppliers will operate in line with sustainability standards such as ISO 14001.
“The Gen3 represents the ambitious third age of Formula E,” said Formula E founder and Chairman Alejandro Agag. “With every generation of race car we push the boundaries of possibility in EV technology further, and the Gen3 is our most ambitious project to date. We are proud to reveal a car that has been two years in the making in the historic home of motorsport.”
“Monaco is the spiritual home of motorsport and there is nowhere more fitting to unveil our Gen3 race car,” said Formula E CEO Jamie Reigle. “The Gen3 disrupts and challenges the conventions of motorsport, setting the benchmark for performance, efficiency and sustainability without compromise.”