Since the inception of the electric car racing world championships, the battery has been the single specification component.
First supplied by Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE), then switched to McLaren Applied for Gen2. And now, WAE has won back the tender for Gen3 from 2022-23.
The battery components will remain standard when the new 470bhp engine is introduced. Nevertheless, Porsche would like to see it as an area of future development.
While there has been muted desire for this before, the fear of rising manufacturers’ budgets has been the biggest obstacle.
Porsche’s new motorsport boss, Thomas Laudenbach, has apparently proposed a halfway house by ensuring that any battery development is only allowed within strict limits.
When asked by Motorsport.com about future technical regulations in Formula E, Laudenbach said: “For cost reasons, they didn’t want to open the battery up to manufacturers, which we had to accept.
“On the other hand, the battery is a must-see in the future. We’ve had some conversations.
“Even in a controlled manner, we would like to see that the battery is in some way open to manufacturer development.
“What we don’t want is for someone to spend a lot of money – because they have a partner in a street car, and they do everything for you – because that would kill a small team.”
Laudenbach also proposed a standard cell battery but the rest were free, under certain conditions.
This is because Formula E has announced a cost cap that will take effect on October 1, 2022. The manufacturer is given a budget of 25 million Euros (401 billion Rupiah) for two consecutive seasons to cover research and development costs.
The debate over battery freedom raises questions about where Formula E sits as a development test ground for manufacturers.
Mercedes (citing Formula 1 as a more relevant alternative) and BMW specifically questioned this, stated in their statement announcing their exit from the championship with Audi.
Since the electric powertrain is already 90 percent efficient, at a conservative measure, this makes battery life the biggest area of potential future development for Formula E.
Laudenbach continues: “We want to see that freedom in a controlled manner for battery development is unlocked.
“I don’t blame the Formula E organization because that is a difficult thing to do.
“We’re talking to them, and I think it’s going to happen.”
Porsche has committed to continue participating in the Formula E electric car racing world championship until the end of the 2023-24 season.
Co-founder Alejandro Agag says on a broader technical rule: “Freedom equals money, unfortunately.
“The more freedom you give, the more money the team has to spend and then after they run out of money a bit, they leave the championship.”