To further boost its position as one of the leaders in electric vehicles and motorsports, Renault is entering the new FIA Formula E Championship as a technical partner. Ten teams will take part in the Formula E and each will pilot Spark-Renault SRT_01E single-seater co-designed with Renault Sport. The racing cars recently had their global debuts at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
The new Formula E contest will feature full -electric, zero-emission single-seaters and its first-ever season will be held from September 2014 to June 2015.
Formula E will be divided into ten legs, each held in a major city in the world -- London, Berlin, Rome (Europe), Beijing, Bangkok, Putrajaya (Asia), Los Angeles, Miami, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires (Americas).
The race will feature 20 drivers who will be distributed among 10 teams. Formula E holdings, the mastermind of FIA Formula E Championship, named Spark Racing Technology to conceive and build the first 40 single-seaters racing cars.
Spark established a consortium to develop the cars and put them into production, with Renault made responsible for the electric drivetrain, system integration, performance optimization and the safety of the electric drivetrain.
Other members of the consortium include, McLaren Electronic Systems, Williams Advanced Engineering and Dallara. The 800-kg Spark-Renault SRT_01E (with driver on board) was designed for easier overtaking with its relatively high ride height was suited for use on the urban circuits in the Formula E Championship.
The car meets current Formula 1 regulations. The Spark-Renault SRT_01E’s electric motor is powered by a 200-kg battery that is homologated according to international transport standards, allowing it to provide 200 kW, or 270 hp, to the rear wheels.
While drivers will be allowed to use the full power of their vehicles in qualifying sessions, the power during the races themselves will be limited to 133 kW, or 180 hp. However, drivers could enter into a “push-to-pass” mode to allow them to temporarily get access to 200 kW (270 hp). The Spark-Renault SRT_01E can accelerate from zero to 100 km/h time in three seconds, and reach a limited top speed of 200 km/h to ensure maximum safety in urban racing.
FIA President, Jean Todt, congratulated every partner who collaborated in producing the completely-electric SRT_01E car. He extols how it is an amazing accomplishment in how the state-of-the-art innovations used abides by the apex of environmental systems, accenting the possibility of the Formula E Championship to ignite a transformation in how new electromobility systems are developed, not only for competitive sport, but also for everyday usage. This new championship adds to the FIA's classical role as the lead promoter of invention, expertise, and performance in the automotive industry.
The vehicle, which was under planning and conception for ten months, will be deployed by each of the ten teams and 20 drivers participating in the new zero emission race series, but this is only for the first season because Formula E is an open championship that is meant to motivate manufacturers to create their own vehicle to help fast-track R&D for electric vehicles. Forty-two cars will be manufactured by Spark with every driver having two cars to use during the races, which will last one hour each.
As Formula E will be an open championship, it will give manufacturers the chance to feature their electric energy advances, and FIA has stated their delight in having Spark Racing Technology in that they will be producing the first of the new completely-electric Formula E cars. Spark has asked the best companies in motorsport to assist with its improvement, such as Dallara, Renault, McLaren, Williams, and Michelin. All these companies are leaders in their own fields, honouring FIA and Spark with their participation.
The Frankfurt Motor Show is also the picture-perfect location to debut the new Formula E car. Many foremost manufacturers at the Show are introducing their all-new electric road automobiles, not as one-offs, but as full vehicle ranges, illustrating how things are different and why this is the best time to launch the brand-new FIA Formula E Championship.