Formula E

Eight manufacturers for second Formula E season

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The FIA Formula E Championship hasn’t even reached the halfway mark, but the list of manufacturers for next season has been announced.

ABT Sportsline, Andretti, Mahindra, Motomatica, NEXTEV TCR, Renault Sport, Venturi Automobiles and Virgin Racing Engineering have all been selected by the FIA.

The eight manufacturers, as expected, will be allowed to develop the powertrain as Formula E becomes an open championship.

“In terms of the manufacturers chosen, we are satisfied with the quality of the applications received and the number of manufacturers becoming involved reflects the huge interest generated by Formula E,” said Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag.

Within this first stage of development, the e-motor, inverter, gearbox and cooling system all have scope to be worked on by the eight and the homologation process for next season has already begun.

The third year will see focus turn to the batteries and continues a staggered programme of improvement designed to limit a costly aerodynamics race.

“The gradual opening up of the regulations will promote innovation, while at the same time keeping costs under control,” said Agag. “The solutions chosen by the manufacturers will hopefully lead to rapid development of the future-focused technologies at the heart of Formula E.”

With year two plans now confirmed, Agag feels Formula E is achieving its goal of promoting technology innovation.

“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,” he said. “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.”

The fifth round of the Formula E championship takes place next month in Miami and marks not only the beginning of the American leg, but also the halfway point in the first ever season.

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A second year sports journalist at the University of Huddersfield, Tom Errington has spent over a year in the motorsport industry. He spent the 2014 season with SRO on British GT and British F3, even helping out with Blancpain in the Spa 24 Hours, before later becoming a freelancer with the Lotus F1 Team helping with PR and website content.
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