How would any of the regular fans though know, though ? It’s not like you can get within 50 metres of them unless you have a paddock pass or you get to see them drive by on a bus for 5 seconds (measured on your rolex watch no doubt, eh Bernie !).. they’re inaccessible to the normal fan.
All of those enthusiastic comments are a lesson in the importance of bringing entertainment to a sizeable market, rather than those places like say, Baku, somewhere no one remembers in Korea, Bahrain etc…
Having spoken to someone who has worked last season as an engineer at one of the teams I got to understand that Formula E is, to date, nowhere near as green as portrayed – a car will destroy 4 batteries at $20,000 a go during a weekend.
That said, it’s almost certain that the competitive arena that is Formula E is going to discover the battery breakthrough that makes electrification of road cars more likely. The FIA just needs to keep moving the goal posts on maximum battery consumption/meeting. That’s got to be a good thing.
In order to catch up with the eco cachet of Formula E, the FIA might want to consider a compulsory switch to sustainable bio-ethanol, but surely not bio-diesel, that would be a step too far!
“Having spoken to someone who has worked last season as an engineer at one of the teams I got to understand that Formula E is, to date, nowhere near as green as portrayed – a car will destroy 4 batteries at $20,000 a go during a ”
Sounds odd, these are rechargeable packs surely? Why would they be destroyed?
There will be no ‘breakthrough’. Battery tech is older than the internal combustion engine. There are physical limits to what can and can’t be done in chemical storage. Sure it has improved in the last 20 years but the law of diminishing returns has well and truly kicked in.
Well, there you have it. Tell the scientists to stop working the problem, and the engineers to give up entirely on the battery. After all, our greatest accomplishments happen when we realize the impossibilities of our efforts, and abandon them entirely.
There are also physical limits to how much oil we have.
I wouldn’t advise giving up on battery tech. For sure there is more to come. Tesla have themselves made huge strides and FE itself is helping as the car swap is clearly a terrible temporary fix and needs to be teched away asap, but electricity will never get close to the ease and advantages of fossil fuel powered cars. We will have to get used to that fact.
Of course we now know the true cost of fossil fuels so it really isn’t an option to continue using it at the rate we do however there is plenty of oil left. Back in the 70’s we were told it would run out in 20 years. It didn’t, partly because we found more but mainly because we got better at extracting it. Back then you drilled a hole, grabbed what flew out and when the pressure dropped you capped it. That left something like 80 -90% of the oil in that well underground. It’s still there. Imagine that, all the oil so far used is just a drop in the ocean of what is available. We’ve probably got a 100 more years worth of it left so plenty of time to sort out batteries 🙂 Plus the effects of global warming have pushed back the Arctic ice cap so new fields become available. Of course we are not so stupid to allow rampant capitalism to drive the drilling of Arctic fields, the burning of Arctic fossil fuels and the consequent further reduction in ice, are we……………?
This is why I both love and hate the internet, an outlandish comment has been made that could be passed on by others as the ‘truth’ because I read it on the internet. But this is then refuted by someone who actually knows the truth…
As Einstein said ‘Don’t believe everything you read on the internet…’
The batteries (or RESS – Rechargable Energy Storage System) are intended to last a season and the plan is that a given car uses the same RESS all year. They are very complex – the carbon casing (which is drop tested to ensure its crashworthiness) acts as a stressed member of the car, and contains not only the battery cells but also the electronics of a battery management system (BMS) to protect the battery from damage (e.g. from overheating) and a liquid cooling system for the cells. It is certainly true that occasionally one “hot cell” will be sensed by the BMS and this will have to be replaced, but it is by no means something that happens to all batteries all the time. I suspect this is at the root of the engineer’s misconception. When a hot cell is sensed, the RESS is removed for repair and a temporary substitute is installed in the car until the original is available once more.
You’ll be old too one day Dale, and as you shelter from the increased effects of global warming brought on by use of fossil fuels and the intransigent governments who selfishly refused to deal with it until far too late, you’ll be cursing me and my ilk, who thoroughly enjoyed our V8’s at your expense. For that I can only apologise in advance :p
Based on your response to my other reply to you, I realize that I misjudged your position on all of this. You are not as stubborn as I assumed 😛
I realize that I will be old one day too, if all goes well. And I also realize that cynicism is something that is part of that process, so while I rant about the old farts who think things are impossible/unwilling to change, I am not so dumb to think there aren’t exceptions to that rule. My grandfather gets it, and needlessly apologizes on to me “on behalf of his generation”. But I never expect an apology from him, and I don’t expect an apology from you. But I do hope that those who stubbornly protest the youth and their “naivety” understand that most of the issues we face today were not of our making, and that we have fair reasons to be upset about them. And the dressing down by the established generations, and the “that’s just the way it is” mentality is really tiresome.
I note the youth of the sampled audience and their focus on the future and the relevance of the series to the larger world. Not the greatest race, even in this year’s competition, but a huge symbolic victory for the series
Yes – most of the older people looked like fathers/uncles etc who came along with the younger ones and all seem to be enjoying the show. I have never warmed to Formula E, but only viewed it on video. What these last two posts did was to encourage me to look up the technical background. Goodness, its moved on a pace – I never gave it a moment’s thought that some now have “gearboxes” with more than two gears, forward and reverse and some with two motors! However, unless it comes to a city or town very near me I won’t be seeking it out. A bit like Americas Cup yacht racing in sailing and the WRC and ERC Series in rallying, it’s motor racing, but not as we know it!
PS: I was reading the stories today about the financiers who have sucked British Home Stores (a once big and succesful UK department store chain) dry over the years and have spat it out to the administrators – sound familiar?
I can’t help feeling there is some skullduggery going on with the on-screen battery discharge meters. How come the races all finish with both batteries having all but gone flat? Hasn’t any team worked out how to make their power last longer.
Isn’t that a bit like asking why ‘proper’ cars don’t finish races with half a tank of fuel left? You want to use all the power available during the race. There is no benefit to finishing with plenty in reserve!
It’s not power, it’s energy. Teams are allowed to use 28kWh per car (think of it like 28 gallons of fuel). The whole point is to use all of that energy and cross the line with almost nothing left out of that allowance, hence the appearance of the battery having “gone flat”. The batteries actually have a capacity of between 31 and 32 kWh of energy, but each car can only use 28.0 between the start of the race and entering the pits (for the first car) and leaving the pits and crossing the finish line (for the second car).
this is just like F1 or MotoGP – you need to use all the ‘available’ fuel in the race (otherwise you weren’t going fast enough!) but still need a small amount left – after all no-one wants a car to stop on the last lap and get in the way of others.
I don’t know if I’ll ever see a Formula E race, but if I did I know that their sound, or lack of it, wouldn’t put me off at all. I know this because every time I watch FE online, their sound immediately recalls the STP Turbine Indy cars of 1967-68, and sends tingles of thrilling remembrance through and through me! Watch and listen to vids of the latter at the Goodwood Festival, and tell me if I’m wrong.
I love the idea of Formula E and have been trying to pay close attention but they constantly shoot themselves in the foot when it comes to getting new fans. In Australia there is no ability to watch the race via free-to-air TV and the live stream is geo-blocked. I assume the races are on our pay-TV provider (along with half of our F1 races) where I’m pretty sure they’ll never build an audience. And without an audience you might as well just burn your money. I’d happily exchange the Melbourne F1 race for a Formula E race at the right price (for the Victorian government as well as the fans).