How powertrain competition could help push Formula E forward

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Formula E is... not the most thrilling racing out there at the moment. The quality of the teams and the drivers are high, yet there's something to be said about the lack of noise when you're watching these all-electric race cars lap a given circuit. Additionally, the idea that you have to swap into a completely different car halfway through the race seems silly. Still, it's a young series and it's currently in the process of growing up. To do so, it's creating a greater level of competition between the teams, and Jason from Engineering Explained is exploring what this all means.

It comes down to powertrains right now. The chassis itself is nearly identical for all teams in Formula E. There's some adjustment allowed with respect to rear suspension setups, and I believe front suspension setups will be alterable in the near future. The big parts that are different between teams is the motors and transmissions.

Right now, each team makes use of a 28-kilowatt-hour battery pack. Some teams run one large motor, while others run a dual-motor setup. Regardless, the power from the motor or motors is sent through a limited-slip differential, so there's no torque vectoring gain to be had from a dual-motor car. When it comes to gearboxes, there are teams running a full 6-speed system while others have it down to a single-gear setup.

Eventually, it's been reported that even the battery pack could be opened up for modification in the future. This would allow even more development and strategy within each team and foster more innovation within the sport. We hope it succeeds because it should then further translate to greater innovations for electric road cars.

After all, more and more automakers are joining the Formula E fray. That's a very good thing for the sport.

 
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