In select races next season, Formula E will test a 30-second rapid charging stop
Charging is typically one of the least thrilling aspects of driving an EV, but the FIA believes it can improve these pauses. Formula E will test a 30-second “Attack Charge” at select races in the ninth season as part of new regulations. Thanks to a 600kW booster, new battery technology will provide automobiles with 4kWh of energy from a half-minute session. The charging stop will be necessary at a certain time in the race, although drivers will be compensated with two “increased” Attack Mode intervals later in the race.
The rapid charge is linked to the launch of Gen3 vehicles in the next season. In races where Attack Charge is not used, the present Attack Mode, in which drivers can engage a short power boost, will remain accessible. The updated Attack Mode is not what was intended. The FIA had intended to bring back pit stops, but the essential system was not available in time, according to The Race. Those more traditional stops are expected, but not for a while.
The league’s competitive format will also alter significantly for the 2019 season. Races are now run over a defined number of laps rather than a specific period of time. Organizers will add extra laps if there are safety cars and full course yellow interruptions. Teams must also complete at least two Free Practice 1 sessions with rookie drivers to assist them to gain experience in Formula E. And don’t expect to have a role in your favourite driver’s success – the fan-driven Fanboost system is being phased out.
Season 9 and Generation 3 will premiere in Mexico City in January. It’s too early to tell if Attack Charge will liven up races in the real world. However, it might foreshadow the future of road-going EVs. Even the quickest-charging street versions require several minutes to achieve a substantial amount of range from a charging session. For example, Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 requires five minutes on a 350kW charger to go 53 miles. Time 600kW chargers aren’t expected to become commonplace for a while (Geely’s Viridi brand only announced its technology in September), Formula E’s testing suggests that one day, your EV may only require a quick stop to recover enough range for a lengthy journey.