Williams Advanced Engineering Awarded Simms Medal

by Katy McConnachie

The Royal Automobile Club have awarded Williams Advanced Engineering the Simms Medal for 2015, the most prestigious honours in recognition of home-grown British automotive engineering talent.

Williams Advanced Engineering have been awarded the prize for its work in creating batteries for the current cars competing in Formula E. The Formula E battery was designed from scratch in just a 12-month timeframe and fit into a strictly pre-determined safety cell and had to be 100% consistent as they were made to last entire season without a loss of power or performance.

In the inaugural Formula E season, the batteries showed incredible reliability with just one failure throughout the season and the series’ testing dates.

Speaking about the honour was Craig Wilson, Williams Advanced Engineering Managing Director: “…We are thrilled and honoured to be the recipients of the Simms Medal for 2015.

Our battery technology has been fundamental to the Formula E series in its inaugural season, and we are proud of how it has stood up to the test in what was a very aggressive development and testing programme. We are now focused on making season two an even bigger success, and to bringing variants of this technology to road cars in the near future.”

Williams Advanced Engineering are only the eighth recipient of the Simms Medal, with previous winners including Richard Parry-Jones CBE for his contribution to the UK and worldwide automotive industry; and Ben Bowlby in 2012, for his DeltaWing racing car.

“The Formula E battery is a design, technological and packaging marvel, and its creator, Williams Advanced Engineering, a very worthy recipient of the Simms Medal in recognition of its contribution to motoring innovation,” said John Wood MBE, Chairman of the RAC’s Technical Committee.

“Each of these batteries has enough energy to charge a smartphone every day for 13 years and holds the equivalent energy of 10,000 AA alkaline batteries. The batteries have powered a full grid of Formula E racing cars a total of some 60,000km in the first season – which is the equivalent of one and a half times around the Earth.

There’s an old saying that racing ‘improves the breed’, and Formula E is helping to improve the next generation of electric vehicles. This should mean a better quality of air for all of us.”

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