FE Gen3 to be faster, smaller, lighter, with fast-charge pitstops

Designs for the Gen3 Formula E car must be capable of reaching a 350kW maximum power, be lighter and smaller, and feature fast-charging pitstop technology - per FIA tender invitations

FE Gen3 to be faster, smaller, lighter, with fast-charge pitstops

The new car will also feature a standard second powertrain installed on the front axle - but this will not introduce all-wheel drive technology.

The governing body has released tender invitations to cover the three seasons that will follow the end of the Gen2 era - 2022-2023, 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 - for the chassis, battery and tyre supply on the Gen3 car.

Companies wishing to bid for these supply deals have until 31 March 2020 to submit applications, with the FIA set to make the final selection on 19 June.

Once approved, the production timeline for the Gen3 cars will be a design specification approval from the FIA by October 2020, first crash tests by August 2021, one development car delivered to FE manufacturers by January 2022 and race car deliveries by August 2022.

The successful winner of the chassis-supply tender must supply an idea that is "a complete evolution of the chassis architecture, to meet even more challenging weight and dimensional requirements compared with today's car", per the FIA chassis tender document.

This will reduce the overall dimensions of 1770mm width and 5160mm length on the Gen2 car to 1700mm width and 5000mm length for the Gen3 model, with a new weight target (including the driver) of 780kg - down from the current 900kg.

All tender applicants have been asked to provide two technology scenarios to cover varying maximum power aims.

In scenario A, the maximum race power would be 300kW and 350kW with attack mode or fanboost activated, and 350kW in qualifying.

Scenario A rear maximum regen power is 350kW and the front is 250kW - in scenario B this is 250kW and 200kW.

Scenario B maximum race power is 250kW, and 300kW in attack mode/fanboost and qualifying. The front powertrain kit "will be used for the sole purpose of regenerating energy during braking and will be common to all cars".

As reported by Autosport, the new car will feature fast-charging pitstop technology - "in order to keep positioning the Formula E world championship as the laboratory of cutting-edge technologies for electric cars".

The tender documents explain that the Gen3 car must be capable of being fully charged in 45-minutes, with a 30s fast-charge ability - it is unclear if this means fully charged in 30s.

The fast-charging technology will mean a change to FE's sporting rules, with fast-charge pitstops set to be allowed.

But although the FIA documents state "fast-charging sessions will be performed within 30s and one time during the race", Autosport understands this may not be a mandatory requirement for each driver per race, and those that do come in may not have to charge their cars for the full 30s.

The attack mode race format system will continue to be used.

FE will be responsible for providing a bespoke car charging system - "including the energy supply, the distribution network and the charging equipment".

The Gen3 car will be open-wheeled and open cockpit - with a halo - and the selected chassis supplier will have to build the car to the spec bodykit styling selected by FE and the FIA, as was the case with the Gen1 and Gen2 designs.

The car will be rear-wheel drive - with the rear powertrain "part of the car manufacturers' perimeter and is intended to operate as a motor-generator".

The FIA document continues: "The front powertrain is common to all cars (delivered as part of the chassis tender perimeter) and operates as generator only."

The new car will be equipped with hydraulic brake systems on the front wheels only "given the increased regen capability of the car due to increased power regen on the front and the rear respectively".

The FIA tender application documents state that yearly cost of a complete car will be €340k, with spare part costs not exceeding 135% of that amount.

The battery tender requires applicants to "elevate the current car's battery technology through improved energy density, life cycle, power capability and durability", per the battery tender application document.

To achieve the 45-minute battery replacement target, battery supply applicants must "work towards upgrading the equipment required for performing this operation (i.e. trolley, etc) to allow for ease of replacement" as part of their application.

Standard charging shall be performed at 80kW, with fast-charging performed at either 450kW or 600kW, "depending on the battery system specifications" of the successful battery supply applicant.

The yearly cost of the complete battery system will be €250k.

Applicants for the tyre supply deal must submit all-weather designs - which FE has used since its first season - that are "for motorsport use and allow for lowest rolling resistance, less tyre wear and optimum handling of the car in all weather conditions", per the FIA tyre tender document.

This continues: "The tyre dynamic behaviour shall be adequate for motorsport used and allow for optimum handling of the car in all weather conditions."

The tyres must be able to withstand the maximum power levels outlined in scenario A and B, and have wear considerations that mean each driver should not use "more than two new rear and two new front all-weather tyres of the same specification per race".

Tyre modifications or treatments "such as cutting, grooving, scrubbing-in, the application of solvents or softeners, as well as the fitting of heat retaining devices or preheating" are banned.

The chassis supply documents reveal that the wheel rims the tyres will be fitted too - to be supplied by the chassis provider - will be either 18inches or 20inches.

FE's Gen2 car currently uses 18inch wheel rims.

The chassis supply documents also state that the cars must be capable of completing "up to 18" races per season, as well as six days of official testing.

The tyre tender documents suggest private testing for FE manufacturers will be cut to 13 days per season - although it is unclear when this will come into effect.

For each tender application, the FIA will consider the applicants' "commitments, actions, credibility and experience" in terms of sustainability and mobility, as well as their ideas of innovation and ability to transfer the technology from motorsport to road cars.

Full chassis supply requirements:

Survival cell, safety cell and safety structures (including FIAs, RIAs, anti-intrusion panels, primary and secondary roll structures, seat, headrest, etc)
Bodywork and aerodynamic devices (including front bodywork, rear bodywork, front and rear wings, sidepods, floor, and any aero device, etc)
Front suspension system (including upper and lower wishbones, push road, track rod, rocker, anti-roll bar and anti-roll bar members, etc)
Front/rear uprights, hubs, rims
Front hydraulic brake system (including callipers, discs, pads, etc.), brake-by-wire (BBW)
Steering wheel system (including hardware and electronics)
Driver control panel (including switches and LEDs for battery safety lights)
Front e-powertrain kit (including MGU, MCU, transmission, driveshafts)
Sensors (measurement of front brake pressure/temperature, radiator temperature, pedal travel, master cylinders displacement, accelerometer, gyroscope, steering angle, wheels speed, front/rear damper travel
Battery status lights, ready-to-move light, rear rain light (hardware kits)
Cooling systems for battery and front e-powertrain (excluding battery cooling pump, which is part of the battery tender perimeter)
Supply management of the complete chassis (including front powertrain kit) and the spare parts, support plan, valuable data delivery

Full battery supply requirements:

Battery system, including structural housing and all connecting interfaces (HV, LV, cooling, etc)
Battery Management System (BMS), including fuses, contactors and FIA sensors ―
DC/DC converter unit
Cooling pump unit (including dielectric fluid)
Battery transportation casing
Thermal pre-conditioning unit (to be agreed with the charging system provider)
Discharge conditioning unit (to be agreed with the charging system and infrastructure providers)
Pit equipment (trolley, etc)
Supply management of the complete battery and the associated spare parts
Support plan and valuable data delivery

Full tyre supply requirements:

All-weather tyres
TPMS sensing units
Supply, support plan, valuable data delivery

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