Williams is the latest Formula One team to get involved with the new Formula E Championship, whose inaugural season commences next year. McLaren has already announced it will supply the electric motors for the Formula E race cars while Renault is helping to optimize their performance and electronic layout.
Williams’ role will be to design and assemble a battery for the 42 cars that will be competing in Formula E, working closely with the constructor of the cars, Spark Racing Technology. The two entities have signed an agreement that will see Williams remain the sole supplier of batteries to Formula E.
Williams’ battery technology is just one of the fruits that have emerged from the British team’s F1 efforts following the introduction of Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) into the sport back in 2009.
The team’s engineers are also knowledgeable in the area of flywheel technology, which they have utilized for Audi’s Le Mans winning R18 e-tron quattro and even some London buses.
“We are delighted to be partnering with Spark Racing Technology to introduce our battery technology into their cars for next year’s FIA Formula E Championship,” Williams founder and team principal Sir Frank Williams said in a statement. “Electric vehicles are becoming an increasingly important part of the automotive industry and Formula E is the perfect opportunity for Williams to validate the latest developments in battery technology.”
Formula E’s development has progressed rapidly since its conception in 2012. The first demonstration events are planned for the second half of this year and we could see the first race of the inaugural season take place by September, 2014.