Williams Advanced Engineering Wins Award For Formula E Battery

DEC 16 2015 BY MARK KANE 14

Williams Advanced Engineering produces Formula E battery

Williams Advanced Engineering produces Formula E battery

Formula E battery

Formula E battery

Williams Advanced Engineering can now boasts about receiving the “Most Innovative New Motorsport Product” award for its efforts in Formula E.

We don’t doubt the quality of the Williams’ batteries, though it would be hard to award anyone else with such an achievement, as there is no competition in Formula E battery tech.

Formula E uses a single supplier (Williams) for batteries for all its cars. Usable energy from every pack for the whole season is 28 kWh – the packs stores at least several kWh more, but saves it as reserve for loss of capacity to have the same conditions for every team for the whole season.

Power assumptions were fairly conservative in the beginning (133 kW) and later it turned out that the batteries can withstand higher power outputs during races (170 kW).

Interesting is that failure rate for the packs is 1 per 440 race uses (0.23%).

“Williams Advanced Engineering was awarded the prize for its work in creating the batteries that are currently powering the cars racing in Formula E, the world’s first fully electric racing series. The Formula E battery had to be designed from scratch within an aggressive 12-month timeframe, fit into a strictly pre-determined safety cell, cool sufficiently, be 100% consistent from one team to the next (40 race cars plus spares), and last an entire season with no loss of power or performance. The batteries showed remarkable reliability in the inaugural Formula E season, with only one failure in 440 race starts. The batteries are currently powering the cars in the second season of the Championship, with the next round taking place in Uruguay on 19th December.”

Speaking about the Award, Williams Advanced Engineering Managing Director Craig Wilson said:

“It’s always a great honour to be recognised by your peers and the Race Tech World Motorsport Symposium brings together the very best the motorsport industry has to offer from around the world. The Formula E battery programme has been a significant examination from a design and logistics perspective and I am extremely proud of how our team has risen to the challenge and produced a product that is garnering much attention both within the motorsport industry and the wider automotive world.”

Williams battery technology presented in late 2014:

Categories: Battery Tech, Racing


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14 Comments on "Williams Advanced Engineering Wins Award For Formula E Battery"

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Who else thinks that winning an award for something when you’re the only person/company doing it is worse than those participation trophies?


Judging by the name the award would appear to be for all innovations in all motorsports…
“Most Innovative New Motorsport Product”
Technically they are competing against every single other innovation out there and when you start looking at what is happening with the Le Mans cars, well it must be pretty darn special to be beating out what the likes of Porsche and Audi etc… are doing there.

Yes, a battery beating all ICE invovation says all.

“Usable energy from every pack for the whole season is 28 kWh”

I’m trying to understand if you mean that the battery comes charged and doles out a maximum of 28 kWh of energy over the entire season of races.

Or does this mean 28 kWh for each race of the season?

Without knowing how many races and how long (miles) are the races, it’s hard to reconcile this statement with reality.

It’s actually 28 kWh for half a race (two cars with 28 kWh each and a car swap at halftime). 😛

Anyway its easy enough to see that 28 kWh don’t take you far. That is one hour of driving a Tesla at constant speed on the highway.

Imagine the energy needed for a regular two hour F1 race with massive speed and all that braking and accelerations.

So at half a race with 28 kWh available there is still a long way to go until it gets competitive with any ICE racing.

Thanks for the explanation. The wording of the original story was too vague for me to understand. 🙂

What’s the battery density spec? Also, if you could double the capacity to 56 kWh, you could run the race with one car. Tesla’s batteries have the capacity and then some…just solve their overheating problem at high power outputs.

lol, see also, oversimplification

YES. The cells are 441 lbs(200kg) but the whole pack is 661 lbs(300kg). Total usable energy, which can be drawn from the battery pack, is 28 kWh. The whole pack should be 31-33kWh to have 28kWh usable energy.
Cell energy density 160Wh/kg.
Discharge rate should be 6-10C.
Tesla use batteries with 260Wh/kg and discharge rate 5-6C.
May be they prefer to swap cars to get second one with new tires and cold battery.
It will be so different with 70kWh battery pack and 2 motors(front and rear) total 350kW(470hp), but the car will weight 2200 lbs(1000kg).

The practical way to keep thermal losses inside the battery down is to use only small part of maximum discharge capacity. Therefore Williams propably has closer to 20C max discharge rate at cell level, and thus low energy density cells.

Using almost full discharge rate of cells is OK if you just want to have a great 0-60 time, but in racing with repeated full accelerations and hard regen it won’t work.


“…just solve their overheating problem at high power outputs”

Yes, this is what they want to accieve in formula E. Maybe they get it solved in around 5 years from now.

It would be interesting to know which chemical they use to cool the battery. Perhaps Perfluorooctane C8F18 ?