The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is taking several significant steps forward for its ninth season of competition—a new generation of racecars, new race locations, revised rules and changes in key component suppliers. In December, the series put the new cars, which offer more power, less weight and vastly greater efficiency, through their paces a at a pre-season test meeting at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia, Spain.
Global electronics giant ABB, which has long been the “energizing force” of the series, now graduates to the role of official charging partner, responsible for replenishing the batteries of all 11 Formula E teams prior to each race.
ABB has developed new DC fast charging hardware that prioritizes reliable service, compact dimensions and light weight, all vital requirements for the globe-trotting racing series. The ABB Formula E Race Charger has been designed to be easily transported and installed around the world, and to use a wide variety of power sources. Each charger can deliver maximum power of 160 kW and is able to charge two vehicles with 80 kW of power simultaneously—a feature that reduces cargo loads when the cars and support gear travel between races.
Another innovation for this season is the ABB Ability OPTIMAX energy management software solution, which is designed to maximize the energy efficiency of on-track operations.
ABB Ability OPTIMAX will allow Formula E’s engineers to monitor and analyze total race-specific energy output, helping drive more efficient usage. Up to 14 metering boxes will be located at host venues, collecting data on how much power (kW) is being used at each moment and how much energy (kWh) is consumed over any given time period.
Total consumption across entire E-Prix sites will also be monitored, encompassing operations including the TV broadcast suite, E-Village fan zone, media center, catering facilities, the paddock and the pit garages.
Daniela Lužanin, Head of the ABB Formula E partnership, said: “Energy efficiency is key to reducing emissions and meeting sustainability targets, and ABB Ability OPTIMAX will be fully implemented this season to help improve this.”
Jamie Reigle, CEO of Formula E, said: “As the first sport to be certified as net-zero carbon since inception, we are always looking for more ways to make the series as sustainable as possible. With ABB Ability OPTIMAX we are able to better monitor our energy consumption and see where potential savings could be made.”
“We’re delighted to bring our innovative charging solutions to the biggest global e-mobility stage—the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship—continuing our drive to use the series as a testbed for new, more sustainable technologies,” said Frank Mühlon, CEO of ABB E-mobility. “The experience and knowledge we gain will be used to continuously improve ABB chargers for customer and consumer use.”