Formula E Unveils Its Innovative Gen3 Race Car

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Note: the initial reveal of the Gen 3 Formula E cars was covered last Friday, but Carolyn goes into some more details about the car itself that are worth reading about. Enjoy!

The next steps in all-electric high-performance motorsport have been revealed by Formula E and the FIA, as the specs of the Gen3 race car are now available for public scrutiny.

Designed and optimized specifically for street racing, developed by engineers and sustainability experts at Formula E, Jamie Reigle, chief executive officer of Formula E says, “The Gen3 disrupts and challenges the conventions of motorsport, setting the benchmark for performance, efficiency, and sustainability without compromise.”

The Gen3 creators want to demonstrate that high performance and sustainability can powerfully co-exist without compromise. Cutting-edge technologies will create a heightened all-electric experience for drivers and fans alike. Chip in a few dollars a month to help support independent cleantech coverage that helps to accelerate the cleantech revolution!

The third-generation Formula E race car was officially unveiled to the public at the Yacht Club de Monaco at the weekend’s Monaco E-Prix.

What’s changed? Power and efficiency, sure, but the Gen3 vehicles will also present a new look that differs from the current second-gen design.

The launch of the Gen3 propels software engineering forwards as a new battleground for motorsport innovation and competition. Performance upgrades to the Gen3 will be delivered as software updates directly to the advanced operating system built into the car.

What’s Different with the Gen3?

Carbon footprint: The carbon footprint of the Gen3 has been measured from the design phase to inform all reduction measures taken to reduce environmental impact, while all unavoidable emissions will be offset as part of Formula E’s net zero carbon commitment. Gen3 production has included a rebuild where natural materials have been introduced to tires, batteries, and bodywork construction, with lifecycle thinking at the core. The Formula E lifecycle assessment is a tool used to holistically assess the environmental, social, and economic impacts of the entire championship.

Batteries: Gen3 batteries consist of sustainably-sourced minerals, while battery cells will be reused and recycled at end of life.

Carbon fiber: Linen and recycled carbon fiber will be used in bodywork construction from retired Gen2 cars, reducing the overall amount of virgin carbon fiber used and the production carbon footprint of the Gen3 bodywork more than 10%. Waste carbon fiber will be reused in a process first used in the aviation industry.

Tires and wheels: Natural rubber and recycled fibers will make up 26% of new Gen3 tires, and all tires will be fully recycled after racing. Wheel covers are gone in both the front and rear, and there won’t be any individual wings over the rear wheels.

Suppliers and sustainability: All Gen3 suppliers will be required to operate in line with top international standards to reduce environmental impacts of manufacturing (ISO 14001) and to meet FIA Environmental Accreditation 3-Star rating.

What Can We Expect from the Gen3?

According to Formula E, design, engineering, and production performance enhancements mean that the Gen3:

  • is the fastest Formula E car yet, with a top speed over 322 kph / 200 mph;
  • is the most efficient formula racing car yet, with more than 40% of the energy used within a race produced by regenerative braking;
  • generates around 95% power efficiency from an electric motor delivering up to 350kW of power (470BHP), compared to approximately 40% for an internal combustion engine;
  • is the first formula car with both front and rear powertrains — A new front powertrain adds 250kW to the 350kW at the rear, more than doubling the regenerative capability of the current Gen2 to a total of 600kW;
  • has ultra-high speed charging capability of 600kW for additional energy during a race, almost double the power of the most advanced commercial chargers in the world; and,
  • is the first formula car that will not feature rear hydraulic brakes due to the addition of the front powertrain and its regenerative capability.

Alejandro Agag, founder and chair of Formula E, captured the excitement of the innovations.

“The Gen3 represents the ambitious third age of Formula E and the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. With every generation of race car we push the boundaries of possibility in EV technology further and the Gen3 is our most ambitious project to date. The eyes of the world are on the Principality for the Monaco E-Prix and we are proud to reveal a car that been two years in the making in the historic home of motorsport. My thanks go to the great team behind it at Formula E and the FIA – the future of all electric racing is bright.”

The Gen3 will debut in Season 9 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, and 7 of leading automotive manufacturers have already registered with the FIA for next season: DS Automobiles, France; Jaguar, UK; Mahindra Racing, India; Maserati, Italy; NIO 333, UK and China; Nissan, Japan; and Porsche AG, Germany.

Formula E’s Net Zero Carbon & Social Justice Goals

Host cities are important to Formula E, as they are part of a larger equation to build more inclusive, resilient, and diverse communities through the implementation of the series’ strategic engagement plan. For the first season of Gen3 era racing in 2023, it is believed that 18 races are being considered with at least one new European race likely to form part of the schedule.

In September 2020, all host cities contribute to the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship mission toward sustainability, as it is the first and only sport to be certified net zero carbon since inception.

As a signatory of, and following the UN Climate Neutral Now initiative, Formula E manages its carbon footprint through a 3-step method:

  1. Measure – Effective and thorough measurement of carbon emissions across the entire championship
  2. Reduce – Prioritizing the reduction of their own carbon footprint as much as possible through their own direct actions
  3. Offset — Offsetting only the unavoidable remaining emissions

This has been achieved by working hard to reduce its own carbon footprint and then investing in internationally certified projects within its race markets to offset the remaining emissions across every single season of electric racing. After each season, the series produces a sustainability report that shares their contributions and impact on society, the economy, and the environment. They also highlight their major sustainable achievements and outline its objectives for the next season.

The reports highlight Formula E’s commitment to benchmarking and improving on their sustainability performance while also being honest about the challenges they — and we — face in the future. Formula E monitors these impacts each race and reports them each season in order to identify opportunities to make further improvements in operations and planning.

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Carolyn Fortuna

Carolyn Fortuna, PhD, is a writer, researcher, and educator with a lifelong dedication to ecojustice. Carolyn has won awards from the Anti-Defamation League, The International Literacy Association, and The Leavey Foundation. Carolyn is a small-time investor in Tesla and an owner of a 2022 Tesla Model Y as well as a 2017 Chevy Bolt. Please follow Carolyn on Substack:

Carolyn Fortuna has 1278 posts and counting. See all posts by Carolyn Fortuna