The FIA World Council has approved the launch of two tenders: one to find a sole supplier for the battery and one for the chassis, at a meeting held on Friday in Geneva.
The tenders are for season five of the all-electric championship, which will take place during 2018/2019. The decision lays the foundations for reaching a dual strategic aim: the use of a single car for the entire duration of the race, while also keeping costs under control.
The tender for the battery is for a sole supplier, as has been the case with Williams for seasons one to four. The chassis supplier – currently Dallara – will also be for an exclusive arrangement.
The move follows the philosophy adopted in the evolution of the regulations regarding the powertrain: a single supplier to begin with, then open to competition in the next phase. The plan is that once the aforementioned contract period is over, entrants will be able to either develop their own battery or continue using the existing one, as is the case this season with the original powertrain.
“The decision of the WMSC means that Formula E takes a significant step forward, consolidating its position as one of the most important race series on a global level,” commented Professor Burkhard Goeschel, President of the FIA’s Electric and New Energy Championship Commission (ENECC).
Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag said: “Opening up the tender for the season five battery supply will inspire further development in the key element of electric car technology. The new battery will be more powerful and have a longer range than the current unit. This is exactly the type of technological step change that Formula E was created to inspire. By keeping with a single supplier, we will also ensure that costs are kept under control and create a solid foundation for the continued growth of the series as a global entertainment brand.”
The decision to continue with a sole supplier for the chassis also stems from a desire to control costs. The key points of the tender were aimed at producing attractive cars that are ingrained with a spirit that looks to the future, which is exactly this championship’s unique feature.
Furthermore, this decision also maintains one of the unique characteristics of the championship, with its defining feature being the energy source – the powertrain and battery – rather than aerodynamics. With this in mind, the duration of the chassis contract will be linked to that of the battery supply. In both cases – the chassis and the battery – the existing suppliers are entitled to bid for the new tenders.
As has been the case in the short history of the championship to date, the FIA and Formula E Holdings will work together to harmonise the regulations with technical developments in the electric mobility sector, thus strengthening still further the links between racing and the realities of daily life.
The two tenders will be posted on fia.com on March 8 and candidatures must be in before June 8 this year.