Punch Powertrain and Dallara are leading a bid to create a junior category for Formula E.
They have joined forces with Prospeed Engineering, ACT and HERONsports to start ‘Formulino E’, which aims to build and sell affordable electric single seater racers by the end of this year.
Unveiling a rolling prototype today, the consortium said they would be approaching racing schools and support series promoters in the hope of selling them cars for around 80,000 euros.
A press release from the group said that they hoped to capitalise on the growing interest in e-racing at all levels.
Speaking to Autosport, the CEO of the group, Thierry Deflandre said that they hoped to build twenty cars in 2017, and were already looking at holding their first race.
“We aim to realise 20 cars this year. After that we can scale up production,” he said.
“We are in negotiation to initiate the first race already this year and that would be part of our learning curve.”
The concept car is reportedly capable of driving for fifteen minutes, and rather than necessitate the need for another car to complete a race distance, the manufacturers are hoping they can use battery swaps, which could be completed in around a minute.
The series could provide a clearer path to Formula E for aspiring drivers. Currently most of the field have driven in other senior series such as Formula 1, DTM or WEC, before moving to the all-electric series later in their career.
The move has already been welcomed by current driver Lucas di Grassi, who said it would provide a more effective way for drivers to gain experience of racing electric cars.
“As Formula E evolves and progress it’s natural the drivers will be prepared somewhere else,” di Grassi told Autosport.
“It’s very positive to hear it’s coming so early. It’s a good preparation, like F2 to F1, and it’ll be much cheaper to run and less complex.
“If someone wants to prepare a driver, or a reserve driver wants to keep running, they can get up to speed and gain the knowledge.
“It’s a very positive move from the constructors.”