The FIA (International Automobile Federation) World Council is seeking a sole supplier for the battery and chassis for the race cars competing in the Formula E series.
At a meeting held last week in Geneva, the council approved the tenders to find sole supplier for the battery and one for the chassis.
The tenders are for 2018/2019 season of the all-electric championship. The move aims to promote the use of a single car for the entire duration of the race and to keep costs under control.
The tender for the battery is for a sole supplier, as has been the case with Williams for seasons one to four. The chassis supplier – currently Dallara – will also be for an exclusive arrangement. Dallara also supplies chassis for IndyCar and Formula One teams.
The move follows the philosophy adopted in the evolution of the regulations regarding the powertrain: a single supplier to begin with, then open to competition in the next phase. The plan is that once the contract period is over, the competitors will be able to either develop their own battery or continue using the existing one, as is the case this season with the original power train.
“The decision means that Formula E takes a significant step forward, consolidating its position as one of the most important race series on a global level,” commented Burkhard Goeschel, a professor and president of the FIA’s Electric and New Energy Championship Commission (ENECC).
“We worked at length with the promoter and major stakeholders in motorsport to reach this result, which we share with all the Formula E teams. We all have the same vision for the long term, namely to create the best possible conditions in which to develop this new technology. We also want this sport to become the ideal platform for testing new solutions so that it is the pinnacle when it comes to electrically powered cars,” he added.
Formula E Chief Executive Officer Alejandro Agag, for his part, said: “Opening up the tender for the season five battery supply will inspire further development in the key element of electric car technology. The new battery will be more powerful and have a longer range than the current unit. This is exactly the type of technological step change that Formula E was created to inspire.”
“By keeping with a single supplier, we will also ensure that costs are kept under control and create a solid foundation for the continued growth of the series as a global entertainment brand,” he added.
The decision to continue with a sole supplier for the chassis also stems from a desire to control costs. The key points of the tender were aimed at producing attractive cars that are ingrained with a spirit that looks to the future, which is exactly this championship’s unique feature.
Furthermore, this decision also maintains one of the unique characteristics of the Formula E series because its goal is to develop a viable electric energy and power train rather than focus on aerodynamics as in the case of most open-wheel racing series.