The FIA Formula E championship series has confirmed eight manufacturers for season two of its all-electric open-wheel racing championship.
The eight manufacturers are ABT Sportsline, Andretti, Mahindra, Motomatica, NEXTEV TCR, Renault Sport, Venturi Automobiles and Virgin Racing Engineering.
The series goal is to be a test bed for the development of electric vehicle technology. The first season of the championship, currently underway, has 10 teams competing using identical vehicles, the Spark-Renault SRT_01E, powered by a powertrain developed by McLaren Electronic Systems.
For the second season, teams will have the opportunity to develop their own powertrain, including the electric motor, the inverter, the gearbox and the cooling system. All other parts on the cars will have to remain as they are. Formula E stated this has been done to stimulate development, investment and innovation in the most important areas while preventing costly aerodynamic developments.
The next development area will be the battery, for season three. The objective set by Formula E is to be able to use a single car per driver during races starting with the fifth season.
“It’s fantastic for Formula E to have this many manufacturers wanting to be a part of the championship after just four races, and shows great confidence in the series,” said Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E. “One of our objectives from the beginning was to promote technology competition but we cannot do that as organisers of the championship, we need ‘actors’ to join and to develop technologies to fight against each other in the races. Through this fight we improve the technology and then with this improved technology we improve electric cars in general. We expect more manufacturers to join from season three onwards and we’re already talking with many different manufactures and also OEMs.”