Formula E Postpones Its Plans For 600 KW Mid-Race Recharge Until Next Year

Due to supply concerns, Formula E will postpone the implementation of so-called “fast charging” pitstops until next season.

Sadrettin Akpınar

April 27, 2023 2:11 AM
Last Update: April 27, 2023 2:11 AM
Formula E

The introduction of a 600 kW mid-race charging session has been postponed until next year in the electric open-wheel racing championship known as Formula E. This year, the series had intended to feature a brief charging pit stop during races, however, issues with the supply chain have prevented this from happening.

This year, Formula E unveiled a new, quicker “Gen3” car that is lighter and more potent than the vehicle from the previous year. The new vehicle has a large DC charge capacity, which not only opens up the possibility of mid-race recharge but also helps to enable better regenerative braking.

GEN3 Models Will Change The Game For Formula E

This year, the series is expected to include mid-race charging, with each race requiring one “pit stop” for a charge that would last around 30 seconds. Considering how quickly EVs charge, 30 seconds may not seem like much time, but every second counts because Gen3 cars charge at such a fast pace.

With a charge rate of 600 kW, a 30-second charge may provide around 5 kWh of energy, about 1/8th the size of the 39 kWh battery pack in the Gen3 model. In just 30 seconds, vehicles can charge more than 10%.

According to Formula E, the technology for these chargers is fully developed, but supply channels for the ABB charging unit that competitors would utilize have proved problematic.

As a result, the original schedule to introduce charging at the start of this season was delayed until midway through. It now appears as if the chargers would only be available for the final one or two race weekends of the year.

Consequently, the plans to introduce that point turn into a question of justice because, in a racing season that is already close, implementing a modification at the very end of the campaign might ultimately decide the title.

Some teams opposed that, saying that the regulations shouldn’t alter in the middle of the season and should remain the same the entire time. Porsche has specifically opposed the rule change, despite presently leading both the teams’ and drivers’ championships.

Instead, the series now plans on introducing charging from the start of the 2024 season. It appears optimistic that supply difficulties will be resolved by then and that racing teams would be more accepting of a full-season shift.


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