Formula E

Please discuss here all your remarks and pose your questions about all racing series, except Formula One. Both technical and other questions about GP2, Touring cars, IRL, LMS, ...
element
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Formula E

Post by element » Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:03 pm

Couldn't find a topic on it...

What do you think about the idea of electric open-wheel open-cockpit formula? Personally I think is a good idea to create a separate championship and not force F1 to develop in this field via regulation.

http://www.fia.com/en-GB/mediacentre/pr ... ula-e.aspx

astracrazy
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Re: Formula E

Post by astracrazy » Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:08 pm

with my motorsport hat on, crap. I can't think of anything more boring than watching silent vehicles going round a track. Can you imagine watching that on tv...or even going to it live.

with my environment hat on (which i'll just find from the depths of the cupboard), i guess its good.

Lycoming
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Re: Formula E

Post by Lycoming » Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:45 pm

electric, open wheel, open cockpit racing formula, you say?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzJsjdCp8dE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWCvAWNqzPs

Then again, it isn't really motorsport but its not silent; you can actually hear the tires and brakes working.

DaveKillens
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Re: Formula E

Post by DaveKillens » Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:58 pm

I think I'm like astra, part of the appeal of racing is that the cars are sexy loud. And until recently, I didn't see how anyone could get excited about an electric racer. But times change, and things are happening. At Pikes Peak they have an electric division, and the cars are cool, and fast.

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The famous and dangerous Isle of Man has a zero emissions category, and now Honda has entered this one.

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I saved the best for last, because the car that won Pikes Peak also just ran .....
Toyota's TMG EV P001 – perhaps trying to outrun its boring name – smashed the existing lap record for an electric vehicle on the famed 12.93-mile Nürburgring Nordschleife track with a time of 7 minutes and 47.79 seconds.
Image

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... wHO6sC7Lhs

Times are changing, and whether or not we like it, this kind of stuff is the future.
Racing should be decided on the track, not the court room.

flynfrog
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Re: Formula E

Post by flynfrog » Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:29 pm

DaveKillens wrote:snip...

Times are changing, and whether or not we like it, this kind of stuff is the future.

Not really how fast was the second lap?

The same car with a petrol engine can do those lap times all day. I would say electric still has a long way to go.

greenpower dude reloaded
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Re: Formula E

Post by greenpower dude reloaded » Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:33 pm

If course I'm going to say that the basic concept is great, I'm pretty hooked on electric car racing and I have to say that the full size electric racing cars I've seen, Drayson's car and the likes sound no quieter than the Diesels at Le Mans. So the noise doesn't concern me, in fact I think the whine of an electric motor is pretty cool.

BUT! I just don't understand this driver changing car when they come in to the pits... It just sounds mad.

The costs will be astronomical! Not only do you need to bring one car and enough spares to pretty much build another one, you need two cars plus spares - just for one driver, and ideally they want two driver teams!

I want to see this happen, but my fear is that best case it'll go the same way as A1GP, worst case it'll go the same way as the EV Cup.

Not sure that they'll be open wheel open cockpit cars either, Bluebird unveiled this earlier in the year as their entrant in to Formula E

Image

P.S. I agree with you Flynn, Electric has a very long way to go, and if this series is to help it, it probably needs to look at freeing up more budget for development rather than just demanding two cars per driver....
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ESPImperium
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Re: Formula E

Post by ESPImperium » Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:27 pm

Fondtechs attempt:

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N12ck
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Re: Formula E

Post by N12ck » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:00 pm

I like the idea of this series, the bodywork rules seem pretty open, I look forward to watching this develop :D
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Paul
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Re: Formula E

Post by Paul » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:14 pm

I wonder what autogyro has to say about it... 8)

amc
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Re: Formula E

Post by amc » Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:08 am

Electric racing using batteries will never work:

For the purposes of this excercise I will make a few assumptions - nothing is wholly accurate. Let's say we want the cars to be the same speed as F1, and that (to a large extent) means having the same power output.
An F1 engine's average power output over time is, let's say, 500BHP, or 375kW. It varies according to RPM and that's conservative. For the car to last a third of a one-hour race (quite a short stint) at 375kW requires 450,000kJ, or 450MJ of energy. The best lithium ion batteries available at the moment will give about 2.5MJ per litre capacity, so in order for an electric car to run at the speed of an F1 car for a reasonable amount of time, the batteries will occupy 180 litres of space inside the car. And that's going to weigh something in the region of 500-600kg.

There is no way an electric car will ever be as fast as a petrol one, that is, until someone fits a hydrogen cell. Hydrogen, at about 70BAR, has the same energy-to-weight ratio as petrol, perhaps better, and electric drive systems can be made more efficient than engines, so pretty soon you have a seriously quick car. The technology in the fuel cells isn't there yet but it will be in the future.

The idea of a 'green' series is nonsense - there is no eco-friendly way to cart a racing series around the world - but we do need transferrable electrical vehicle technology. Battery powered aircraft? I don't think so. I think if F1 fans in 40-50 years still have a fast, exciting racing series to watch they will forgive a hum or two instead of a V8 roar. Things will adapt eventually.

At the moment those Formula E cars look very limited on downforce levels - maybe reaching an equivalent speed to GT cars? I don't know exactly, but if you want to see exquisitely designed, efficient, streamlined electric cars there are other things out there. greenpower dude reloaded knows all about that.

P.S. Shouldn't this be in 'Other Racing Series'
"A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool speaks because he has to say something."

Lycoming
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Re: Formula E

Post by Lycoming » Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:12 am

amc wrote: Let's say we want the cars to be the same speed as F1, and that (to a large extent) means having the same power output.
Does it? Kill minimum weight and allow closed wheels and large undertrays; the Delta wing was built on this sort of idea, and it runs midpack LMP2 times for roughly half the energy. not bad for a first iteration design. Plus, if you allow 4 wheel drive, you can recover staggering amounts of energy under braking.
amc wrote: There is no way an electric car will ever be as fast as a petrol one, that is, until someone fits a hydrogen cell.
At FSAE Michigan this year, 2 electric teams were invited to demo their electric cars, in preparation for the category coming to the event next year. Their AutoX run is the first video I posted above. Their time destroyed almost all the combustion car's times, despite running when the track was least optimal (they were the first to run). It is true that this car was built by one of the top teams but in only the third year of the electric category, they barely weigh more than their combustion counterparts and benefit from better packaging and ridiculous torque. In FSAE, 3.9 seconds is incredibly fast for accel (a 75m straight run from standing start). Delft's electric car ran a 3.44 this year.

All of those cars are battery powered, and can race for a good 30-45 minutes with the batteries that they have. according to this, thats longer than what the FIA's series is planned to be capable of.

Think this way; what weighs more, 4 motors and their batteries, or one engine, + fuel system + intake system + exhaust system + gearbox + clutch? If your demand for energy volume is low (and it can be surprisingly low if you can harvest energy from all 4 wheels under braking) the gap will not be large. How do you think TU delft gets their electric car down to 145 kg? only one car at the german competition (out of 109) weighed less, and only by 4 kg.
amc wrote:At the moment those Formula E cars look very limited on downforce levels


I don't see any reason why that should be true. AFAIK those details of the regulations are yet to be revealed.
amc wrote:The idea of a 'green' series is nonsense - there is no eco-friendly way to cart a racing series around the world - but we do need transferrable electrical vehicle technology. Battery powered aircraft? I don't think so. I think if F1 fans in 40-50 years still have a fast, exciting racing series to watch they will forgive a hum or two instead of a V8 roar. Things will adapt eventually.
At least I can agree with you on that

I'm not endorsing this series; not enough is known about it yet. I just don't see electric cars as boring, silent, slow, heavy and I think there's no good reason why others should think of them that way.

Websta
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Re: Formula E

Post by Websta » Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:03 am

Would it be possible to change battery packs during pit stops? That would encourage more pit stops and strategy, and keep the weight of the cars down.

RB7ate9
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Re: Formula E

Post by RB7ate9 » Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:23 am

Websta wrote:Would it be possible to change battery packs during pit stops? That would encourage more pit stops and strategy, and keep the weight of the cars down.
I think this is the biggest avenue for making an electric-series happen. Have a car slide in, internal jacks push the car up, and in the time it takes to remove the tires a la Le Mans (I believe only 2 mechanics total working on the car http://paddocktalk.com/news/html/story-137734.html) one can swap out a pack. This will place emphasis on capacity, regenerative efficiency, and efficiency in the drivetrain. You won't even have to hot-swap in Le Mans because the car has to be off in the pits.

raymondu999
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Re: Formula E

Post by raymondu999 » Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:57 am

What actually excites me about this series is that electric motors as such should, theoretically, offer a bloody drivable torque/power curve. Save for slight aberrations, and/or transmission losses, would it not (theoretically speaking, in laboratory conditions) have a flat torque curve from start to finish?
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Cam
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Re: Formula E

Post by Cam » Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:59 am

Lycoming wrote:electric, open wheel, open cockpit racing formula, you say?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzJsjdCp8dE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWCvAWNqzPs

Then again, it isn't really motorsport but its not silent; you can actually hear the tires and brakes working.
Awesome. Simply amazing stuff. While I do agree the sound of a thumping V8 is great, it's not everything. Seeing 2 talented guys (people) go toe to toe in a kart is great or 10 guys road luging downhill - that's racing - the completive act of beating another person. I for one would pay to see these things race.

If they actively developed the series to push the technology forward, the batteries will last 75 laps, averaging 200-250kph. Get the Car Industry involved and we'll all be driving sup'd up electric rockets within 5 years. Do-able.

This is where the current F1 regs fail, IMO. We'll never see this technology in an F1 car and that's a great shame as F1 is a development series and perfect for a team to test this out and win on merit. Electric or Hydrogen or some other system - is the future. Our kids kids will not see petrol or diesel race cars. At $1.50 per ltr right now - I can't even afford petrol, and it's not dropping in price any time soon.
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