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South Africa's foremost electric mobility platform

  • Writer's pictureIan McLaren

Formula E’s new Gen3 car revealed

The latest-generation, all-electric single-seater is set to race in Cape Town in 2023.

Currently halfway through its eighth season of racing the streets of some of the most famous city centres around the globe, the ABB FIA Formula E series has established itself as the pinnacle of future-focused, accessible motor racing. With a clear goal of educating its growing global audience around sustainability and the need to think ahead when it comes to the potential impact of the automobile on the environment, Formula E - under the watch of the FIA since 2020 - will head into its ninth season using an all-new Gen3 car.

Lighter, faster and more efficient than ever before, the new car has been developed to not only offer even closer racing on street circuits but, crucially, to look more fluid and engaging and then the Gen2 it will replace.

Inspired by the shape of a fighter jet, the new car’s body is made from a combination of recycled carbon fibre and linen (you read that right). To this end, the Gen3 is said to be world’s first net carbon zero race car.

Interestingly, while the car features a 350 kW electric motor on the rear wheels, a supplementary 250 kW motor on the front wheels offers no additional performance. Its role is purely to recover regenerative braking energy and feed it back into the mid-mounted battery pack. It’s claimed that 40% of the energy required to complete a race in the Gen3 car will be generated via this on-the-move technology. So effective is this regenerative braking process that the Gen3 car does away with hydraulic brakes on the rear wheels.

Working closely with new exclusive tyre supplier, Hankook, Formula E teams will make use a single compound, all-weather (with tread) tyre throughout the new season. While this offers its own challenges depending on the climate conditions and prevailing temperatures at each track, it also lowers costs and, indeed, takes some of the guess work out of the strategy talks within each of the 11 current official teams. The new tyre features 26% sustainable materials within its compound.

60 kilograms lighter than the outgoing car, the Gen3’s sleeker proportions and added performance should allow it to be between 2- and 4-seconds per lap faster than the Gen2 car, depending on the track. This bodes well for when the teams take to the proposed Cape Town track in 2023.

“The Gen3 is our fastest, lightest, most powerful and efficient racing car yet." says Formula E. "It is a creature designed for its habitat; racing in city streets in wheel-to-wheel combat. We look forward to witnessing it inspire and excite the next generation of motorsport fans in cities around the world from season 9.” South African motorsport fans should find out when the Cape Town event will take place once the 2023 calendar is finalised in June 2022.

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