Motorsports has a long history as a testbed for cutting edge automotive technology and now that the racing industry is pivoting to electric vehicles, the results could be stunning. In the latest development, the British motorsports R&D company Drayson Racing Technologies has just announced a partnership with Qualcomm for wireless EV charging in its motorsports products as well as consumer products, using Qualcomm’s Halo WEVC wireless charging system.
The WEVC system consists of pads at parking spots for stationary charging, and Qualcomm is also looking to develop on-road charging systems embedded in roadways.
Drayson Racing and Qualcomm
Drayson Racing may be better known for its work in racing-quality biofuels (it developed the first biofuel vehicle to win a Le Mans race), but the company has jumped into the EV market and is focusing on electric drivetrains and wireless charging.
The company’s formidable 850 horsepower Drayson B12 69/EV recently achieved a speed of 200 mph, ripping through the previous 39-year-old record for EV speed of 175 mph for sub-1000 kg EVs.
Concurrently, Drayson has also been instrumental in developing the new Formula E racing series in cooperation with the global motorsports organization FIA. The new competition is set to start in September 2014 in ten cities worldwide including Miami and Los Angeles.
Last January, Qualcomm Europe announced that it would promote its Qualcomm Halo™ WEVC technology through a sponsorship of the Drayson Racing Team for the Formula E series.
Drayson has tested Qualcomm’s custom 20kW wireless charging system on its B12/69EV, with an eye to both the racing and the consumer market. Along with setting the new flat speed record, one highlight has been the achievement of a new record for EV hill-climb, which took place at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Wireless EV Charging
All else being equal, wireless EV charging could be the final nail in the coffin for conventional gasoline vehicles, and for that matter, for any vehicle using liquid fuel. It’s hard to argue with the convenience factor of parking your car, hitting a button, and letting the magic of science take over.
Add on-road EV charging (a technology based on magnetic fields) to that equation and all bets are off.
That’s good enough news for the consumer market, and in the motorsports world it could be golden. Think of an “electrified” raceway as the real world version of those little slot car sets, and you can see the possibilities for a crowd-pleasing event.
FOX Hearts EVs!
Speaking of the new FIA Formula E series, you’ll never guess who just confirmed an international media deal with FIA for the Formula E series, unless you just read the subheading above.
It looks like that relationship is in for a big change, since the deal gives FOX exclusive rights to broadcast Formula E events in the US. The deal also gives FOX exclusive and non-exclusive rights in 80 other territories and countries.
Carlos Martinez, President Latin America for FOX International channels, was instrumental in setting up the deal. Here’s what Martinez said about the role that FOX will play in introducing millions of US viewers to zero-emission auto racing:
This series makes racing very relevant well into the future. With a global approach to acquiring knowledge and fast-tracking technology through the world of international racing competition, the FIA Formula E Championship is much more than just another weekend at the track…it makes racing an integral part of solving one of the world’s most daunting challenges and we are thrilled to be a part of that process.
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.