Formula E Cars

António Félix da Costa's Andretti-BMW car at the 2017 New York City ePrix

A Formula E car is a battery electric open-wheel auto racing car made according to the regulations of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) to take part in the FIA Formula E Championship. Races are mainly driven on closed temporary street circuits designed specifically for this racing category.[1]


As of 2024 there have been three major generations of Formula E cars:

  • 1st generation (2014–15 to 2017–18)
    • 1st season: 2014–15
    • 2nd season: 2015–16
    • 3rd season: 2016–17
    • 4th season: 2017–18
  • 2nd generation (2018–19 to 2021–22)
    • 5th season: 2018–19
    • 6th season: 2019–20
    • 7th season: 2020–21
    • 8th season: 2021-22
  • 3rd generation (from 2023)
    • 9th season: 2022-23
    • 10th season: 2023-24

1st generation (2014–15 to 2017–18)

The Spark Renault Spark-Renault SRT 01E (Spark Gen1) which was used from season 1 through 4 (2015–16 to 2017–18)

Even though the FIA originally planned for the category to be open to various chassis manufacturers,[2] the only licensed Formula E model for the inaugural season (2014–2015) was the Spark-Renault SRT 01E. The electric components were assembled by Renault[3] while the chassis was designed by Dallara, and the car was assembled by Spark Racing Technology.

In Season 2 (2015–16), the SRT_01E was opened up for private development by the teams when it came to the motor, gearbox and suspensions.[4]

The specifications for the Spark-Renault SRT_01E are:

1st generation Formula E car
Property Value
Acceleration 3 s from 0–100 km/h (approximately)
Top speed 225 km/h (FIA regulated)
Chassis material Carbon fiber and aluminium monocoque
Body material Kevlar and carbon fiber
Aerodynamic elements Spoiler and airdam
Electric motor Season 1: McLaren Electronic Systems[5]
Season 2 onwards: Various, from single-speed to 5-speed
Motor power 200 kW in normal race mode (150 kW in power saving mode; 230 kW in push-to-pass mode)
Energy source 28 kWh Lithium-ion battery by Williams Advanced Engineering[6]
Powertrain layout Rear-wheel drive, center back motor position (mid-mounted)
Gearbox Season 1: Hewland 5-speed sequential gearbox
Season 2 Onwards: Various gearboxes
Gearbox controls Semi-automatic wheel-placed paddle shifters
Suspension Front: Double steel wishbones, pushrod operated with twin dampers and torsion bars
Rear: Spring
Shock absorbers Torsion bars and springs
Brakes Disks and calipers of any material. Round sections in aluminium alloy[clarification needed]
Rims 460 mm (18 in) diameter Magnesium OZ Racing rims
Tires 650 mm diameter front, 260 mm wide
690 mm diameter back, 305 mm wide
Sculpted Michelin tires (for rain and dry conditions)
Length 5000 mm
Width 1800 mm
Height 1250 mm
Track 1300 mm
Wheelbase 3125 mm
Mass 898 kg total mass (included driver)
200 kg battery mass

2nd generation (2018–19 to 2021–22)

The Spark SRT05e (Spark Gen2) which was used from season 5 through 7 (from 2015–16 to 2017–18).

In March 2016 it was decided by the FIA and Formula E Holdings that the upcoming 2nd generation cars would keep to a specification chassis in a bid to keep costs low in the category.[7][8] The tender for the 2nd Generation car was won by Spark Racing Technology.[9]

The original battery specifications included a 200 kg (440 lb) cell-weight limit, a 200 kW peak power limit, and a maximum usable energy of 28 kWh.[10] For the 2018–2019 season, the specifications for the battery was a weight of 250 kg and 54 kWh energy, and peak power was 250 kW. The cells (18650VTC6) was to be made by Murata Manufacturing, the integration by Lucid Motors, and track handling by McLaren.[11]

Also new for the generation 2 cars was the inclusion of a halo crash protection device.[12]

The specifications for the Spark SRT05e are:

2nd generation Formula E car
Property Value
Acceleration 2.8 s from 0–100 km/h (approximately)
Top speed 280 km/h (FIA regulated)
Chassis material Carbon fiber and aluminium monocoque
Body material carbon fiber
Aerodynamic elements Spoiler and airdam
Engine Various
Engine power 200 kW in normal race mode (225 kW in attack mode,[13] 250 kW in fanboost mode[14])
Energy source 54 kWh battery by McLaren Applied Technologies[15]
Powertrain layout Rear-wheel drive, center back engine position (mid-mounted)
Gearbox Various single-speed gearboxes
Suspension Double steel wishbones
Shock absorbers Torsion bars and springs
Brakes Front: 278 mm Brembo carbon disks and calipers
Rear: 263 mm Brembo carbon disks and calipers with brake-by-wire
Rims 460 mm (18 in) diameter rims
Tires 650 mm diameter front, 260 mm wide
690 mm diameter back, 305 mm wide
Michelin Pilot Sport All-Weather Treaded, one set per weekend[16][17]
Length 5160 mm
Width 1770 mm
Height 1050 mm
Track 1553 mm front,
1505 mm rear
Wheelbase 3100 mm
Mass 900 kg total mass (included driver)
385 kg battery mass

3rd generation (from 2022)

The 3rd generation of Formula E cars is expected to be lighter and smaller than the 2nd generation cars to allow for more wheel-to-wheel racing.[18] It will be the first formula car with both front and rear powertrains, with a 250 kW generator in the front being used for regenerative braking and a 350 kW engine in the rear for powering the vehicle.[18] It will be the first formula car not to feature rear hydraulic brakes, and will instead rely on the regenerative capabilities of the engines for braking on the rear wheels, and it is claimed that "at least 40% of the energy used within a race will be produced by regenerative braking during the race".[18] This contributes to the car, at the launch in 2022, being expected to become the world's most energy efficient race car ever.[19] Performance wise, the 3rd generation Formula E cars are expected to achieve around 2 to 4 seconds faster lap times in both qualifying and races compared to the 2nd generation cars.[20]

The specifications for the 3rd generation Formula E cars are:

3rd generation Formula E car
Property Value
Top speed 320 km/h (FIA regulated)[18]
Chassis material Carbon fiber and aluminium monocoque
Body material Linen and carbon fiber, of which some is recycled carbon fibre from retired Gen2 cars[18]
Aerodynamic elements Spoiler and airdam
Engine power 350 kW[18]
Energy source Battery cells with sustainably-sourced minerals; reused and recycled at end of life[18]
600 kW total power potential from regenerative braking (250 kW front generator, 350 kW rear motor)[18]
Fast charging 600 kW ultra-high speed charging, almost twice as fast as any commercially available charger[19]
Powertrain layout Front- and rear-mounted engine[18]
Gearbox Various single-speed gearboxes
Shock absorbers
Brakes Front: Disks and calipers
Rear: Non-hydraulic, regenerative[18][clarification needed]
Rims 460 or 510 mm OZ Racing magnesium wheels
Tyres Tyre compound with 26% natural rubber and recycled fibres; recycled after racing[18]
Length 5016 mm
Width 1700 mm
Height 1023 mm
Wheelbase 2970 mm
Mass 840 kg total mass (included driver)


During the first season in 2014–2015, all teams used a Hewland 5-speed sequential gearbox operated by the driver semi-automatically via paddles on the steering wheel similar to other racing series. In the following seasons, regulations on gearboxes have been relaxed, and some teams have chosen to use either single-speed gears or all the way up to four gears.[21] A transmission with multiple gears can help keep the motor in its most efficient operating range, but whether an electric car needs multiple gears in the transmission depends heavily on the torque curve of the motor at different rotational speeds (r/min).[22] By season 4 in 2017–2018, all teams were running single-speed gearboxes.[23] Some single-speed Formula E cars have sometimes erroneously been described as having a "direct-drive" powertrain. However, FIA regulations for the gen 1 and 2 car have mandated a reduction gear, and Formula E cars without multi-speed gearboxes have thus far had a single-speed gear rather than a true direct-drive mechanism.


The second generation Formula E car from 2017 had a noise level of about 80 decibels, which is 10 dB louder than an average petrol road car or about as loud as a domestic vacuum cleaner.[24]

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ EXPLAINED: How Formula E race tracks are designed and built | FIA Formula E
  2. ^ Overview Archived 2014-05-19 at the Wayback Machine - Official site
  3. ^ Ferret, Olivier (15 May 2013). "Renault s'implique en Formula E". (in French).
  4. ^ (fr) Nicolas Carpentiers, Formula E : de l’électricité dans l’ère (nouvelle) Archived 2016-05-31 at the Wayback Machine,, October 21, 2015, Retrieved October 26, 2015
  5. ^ Corrêa, João (10 September 2013). "McLaren the power behind Formula E". Archived from the original on 6 October 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  6. ^ (fr) Williams s'implique en FE - ESPNF1, June 12, 2013
  7. ^ McConnachie, Katy (2016-03-04). "Formula E to remain with single chassis and battery suppliers". The Checkered Flag. Retrieved 2019-01-01.
  8. ^ Mitchell, Scott (15 March 2016). "Formula E boss Agag does not want chassis competition". Retrieved 2019-01-01.
  9. ^ Mitchell, Scott (24 August 2016). "Spark to build new Formula E car, cockpit protection device likely". Retrieved 2019-01-01.
  10. ^ "INVITATION TO TENDER FOR SOLE SUPPLY CONTRACT" (PDF). FIA. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  11. ^ Halvorson, Bengt (October 27, 2016). "Lucid Will Be the Sole Battery-Pack Supplier for Formula E Racing". Car and Driver. Archived from the original on November 9, 2016. Retrieved November 8, 2016.
  12. ^ Attack Mode | FIA Formula E
  13. ^ Staff, e-racing365. "Formula E Confirms Attack Mode Details – e-racing365". Retrieved 2019-01-01.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  14. ^ Smith, Sam. "Fanboost Expansion Confirmed – e-racing365". Retrieved 2019-01-01.
  15. ^ "Formula E Battery - McLaren Applied Technologies". Archived from the original on 2023-01-15. Retrieved 2019-01-01.
  16. ^ Motorsport, MICHELIN (6 March 2018). "ABB FIA Formula E: Michelin reveals the new MICHELIN Pilot Sport". Michelin Motorsports UK. Retrieved 2018-12-13.
  17. ^ "New Michelin Pilot Sport" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-12-15. Retrieved 2018-12-13.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Formula E Gen3 race car to be unveiled in Monaco | FIA Formula E
  19. ^ a b GEN3 FACTS: Performance x Efficiency x Sustainability | FIA Formula E
  20. ^ Formula E Gen3: The world's most efficient race car | TechCrunch
  21. ^ The ABC of Formula E
  22. ^ Formula E Transmission Evolution - Hewland Transmissions
  23. ^ Formula E: the electric racing powertrain, explained | CAR Magazine
  24. ^ "What people are hearing at Montreal's inaugural Formula e event".

External links

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