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Formula E fast-charging pitstops "unlikely" before end of season

Formula E CEO Jeff Dodds admits that it’s now “unlikely” that fast-charging pitstops that were slated for this year will be introduced before the end of the season.

Fast-charge

The concept, where drivers would pit during a race for approximately 30 seconds and receive a charge of power, was initially suggested for the start of the Gen3 era last year.

But it was pushed back a year due to the introduction of the new machines which put a strain on available parts and the general Formula E infrastructure, with a view to it being used at points in 2024 – starting with the Misano E-Prix this weekend.

The technology was briefly trialled in pre-season testing at Valencia in October before further running was curtailed by the unrelated battery fire incident as investigations took place.

It was then tested by teams in FP1 during the season-opening Mexico City E-Prix but problems with the technology meant further usage was pushed back to later in the season, with it last trialed in Sao Paulo.

Autosport has since learned that there will be no further on-site testing of the technology until further notice by the FIA.

Nick Cassidy, Jaguar TCS Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 6

Nick Cassidy, Jaguar TCS Racing, Jaguar I-TYPE 6

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Ahead of the inaugural event in Misano, Dodds admitted that it might not see the light of day this season.

“As it stands right now, the technology isn’t robust enough for us to put it into a race,” he told Autosport.

“What we’re never going to do is compromise a race by putting in technology that’s not ready but we are trying to push boundaries of battery charging technology. This is not a simple thing to do.

“I can never apologise for us trying to push the boundaries of technology because we exist to move battery electric technology along. It isn’t ready to launch now, so we won’t launch it.

“Will it be launched at any point during the season? My sense at the moment is that’s unlikely.

“We’ll launch Gen3.5 for next season, so maybe it makes more sense to launch at the start of next season now anyway but we continue to test it as hard as we can and I may be surprised, maybe we’ll get to a point where we’re ready to introduce it at the end of this season, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s not.”

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