Electric cars

How is Nissan harnessing motorsport for consumer electric cars?

Motorsport teams invest billions in the development of new technologies to give their team the edge on the track. It is therefore not surprising that manufacturers want to make their investment profitable by domesticating their innovations and transforming them into technology applied to the passenger car.

One of the ways innovation is influencing consumer electric cars is in Formula E, motorsport’s answer to greener racing, using 100% recycled materials and electric batteries. All Formula E open-wheel racing cars are powered by the same batteries, electric motor and chassis. McLaren Electronic Systems supplied the engine for its first Gen car in the opening season. Having the same specs in its race cars means teams come together to create the latest and most efficient electric vehicle (EV). Gen3 is the latest innovation, making its debut in the 22/23 season. After further intensive development testing, on and off the track, a series of design, performance and durability innovations for the Gen3 car have been announced. Formula-E claims it will be the “most efficient race car in the world”, with at least 40% of its energy generated by regenerative braking instead of fuel like Formulas 1, 2 and 3.

The Gen3 formula car features an electric motor capable of delivering up to 350 kW of power (470 hp), a top speed of 200 mph (320 km/h) and a power-to-weight ratio twice as efficient as a 470 hp equivalent internal combustion engine. (ICE). In addition to that rear powertrain, it also features one in the front that adds 250kW, nearly doubling the Gen2’s current regenerative capability to 600kW. Due to these additions, the car will not feature rear hydraulic brakes, although it will retain them in the front. Japanese automaker Nissan has partnered with Shell to help launch new electrification technology.

Nissan’s COO Ashwani Gupta with the Gen3 model

Shell and Nissan e.dams driver Maximilian Günther (MG) and Nissan Global Motorsport Director (TV) Tommaso Volpe chat with automotive world about Nissan’s participation in Formula E, how the vehicles work and, most importantly, how this technology can be used for road vehicles. German driver Günther joined Nissan e.dams ahead of Season 8 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. Making his Formula E debut aged 21, he became the youngest race winner in Formula E history when he claimed victory at the Santiago E-Prix in Season 6.