Monday, January 30, 2023

How Formula E overcame the supply crisis for Gen3

  • In order to debut the Gen3 car at the upcoming Mexico City E-Prix, Formula E had to overcome a supply chain crisis.
  • This included a shortage of lithium, which is used to make rechargeable batteries and for which demand has risen in recent years.
  • Formula E co-founder and chief championship officer Alberto Longo shared that the key to overcoming the crisis lay in its manufacturers, suppliers and partners.
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After three and a half years of planning, Formula E will debut its third generation (Gen3) of electric single-seaters during the Mexico City E-Prix on 14 January.

The race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez will mark the start of the ninth season of the FIA ​​World Electric Championship. Likewise, it will usher in a new era for the series with an electric car that promises to be the fastest, lightest, most efficient and most durable in the world.

According to Formula E, the car will reach a top speed of 322 kmph. Also, the power of its electric motor will be up to 350 kW.

In comparison, its predecessor (Gen2) had a top speed of 280 km/h, while its engine had a maximum power of 250 kW.

Credit: ABB Formula E

On the other hand, more than 40% of the energy you use in a race will be produced by regenerative braking. Other things we can expect from him are:

  • Front and rear engine.
  • No rear hydraulic brake.
  • Net zero carbon footprint.
  • The broken pieces of carbon fiber will be recycled.
  • The tires will be made with natural rubber and recycled fibers (Hankook will debut as a tire supplier for the range).

However, working on this level of technical innovation in only three and a half years has presented many challenges to the championship, manufacturers and suppliers.

Supply chain crisis and lithium shortage: Challenges for Formula E

During a round table ahead of the Mexico City e-Prix, at which Business Insider Mexico was present, Formula E co-founder and chief championship officer Alberto Longo shared that the biggest hurdle they had to overcome in 2022 was the supply chain.

Alberto Longo
Alberto Longo, co-founder and chief championship officer of Formula E | Credit: ABB Formula E

This includes a shortage of lithium, which is used to make rechargeable batteries. Its demand has increased in recent years due to the increase in the manufacture of electric cars, which is not limited to Formula E single-seaters.

The pandemic’s impact on supply chains and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have raised concerns about lithium shortages over the past year. This, at the same time, increased the cost of batteries (according to McKinsey, it will skyrocket 500% in 2022).

“Supply chain is a problem that the whole world is unfortunately suffering from. It is not an issue that is limited only to Formula E,” said Longo. “What we have in common is that we have two big advantages.”

According to Formula E’s co-founder, the series has been helped to deal with the crisis by having “big names behind us”. This includes manufacturers committed to Gen3 (including Jaguar, Maserati, Nissan and Porsche), their battery supplier (Williams Advanced Engineering) and other partners.

Formula E
Credit: ABB Formula E

“Obviously, they were keeping us informed and there were some things that were coming out a little later than expected. This meant that teams who probably would have liked to have got the batteries earlier got them a little later,” Longo said. Told.

“But overall, we are very pleased that in a year where it has been particularly difficult to develop batteries and then ship them, we have come out on top. We arrived on time for the private tests that the teams have been working on for months Then a normal test like the one we did in Valencia in mid-December.

Formula E’s chief championship official also assured that it is difficult to learn when so many factors are out of control. However, the challenge left to the Electric Championship is to value the community that was formed between the teams, manufacturers, suppliers and partners.

“I’m very proud of the ecosystem I represent and the result. We can’t forget that the most important thing here was to go to Valencia first. Then, get ready for Mexico, which I think we are ,” They said.

now read: Jaguar TCS Racing reimagines its future in Formula E with the arrival of the Gen3

Read also: Formula E breaks television viewership records with its eighth season

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Nation World News Desk
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