• Oct 5th 2010 at 4:57PM
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Formulec EF01 – Click above to watch video after the jump

If the future of Formula racing is electric, it could look a lot like the Formulec EF01 that's just been revealed at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. Constructed in a two-and-a-half-year period with a number of quality partners pursuing pollution-free Formula 3 performance, the single seater could be the starting point for a new electric series with over a dozen events on five continents. Soon, too. Green flags could be dropping as early as 2012.

With Segula Matra Technologies providing the technical coordination for the effort, the drivetrain was developed by the same people behind the Exagon Furtive eGT and Andros ice-racers. It makes use of a pair of Siemens motors mated to a two-speed gearbox that help it accelerate to 100 km/h (62 miles per hour) in three seconds and head northward of 250 kilometers per hour (155 miles per hour). The energy to race for 20 to 25 minutes is stored in lithium ion batteries from Saft and are hidden beneath beautiful bodywork developed with help from the likes of the Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One team.

The Formulec organization has a serious plan in place to get an electric Formula racing series established that could see the entrance of other constructors in 2013, once a set of technical specs are decided upon. In the near term, look out for appearances at tracks around the world as they make their case for electric performance. Hit the jump for a sample of EF01 making the rounds at Magny Cours in a spiffy video put together by the folks at Formulec as well as their official press release.

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[Source: Formulec]

Press Release

Electric Formula EF01 is born

Motor Racing has a new showcase for tomorrow's technologies

The first fully electric single-seater of very high sporting level, the EF01 was designed with a view to equalling the performances of its prestigious cousin the Formula 3 with its combustion engine.

For its first runs on the Magny-Cours Formula 1 track two weeks ago with Jules Bianchi, then on the Bugatti track in Le Mans last week in the hands of Alexandre Pr€mat, the EF01 demonstrated to all those involved that it was a racing car with the potential to meet this ambitious challenge.

With 0 to 100 kph in 3 seconds and a top speed greater than 250 kph, the EF01 is the fastest racing electric single-seater in the world today. With these first conclusive test runs, the EF01 has reached a decisive stage in technical innovation and is opening up new avenues in motor racing.

The EF01 and Formulec have opened the way for a new generation of racing competition, more innovative and adapted to changes in the car market. Thus, the EF01 demonstrates that speed and performance can also mean respect for the environment and sustainable development.

Thanks to these first real-scale trials, the EF01 confirms its track potential. International competitions and championships operated by Formulec around meetings bringing together electric racing cars around the world will rapidly become a reality.

An ambitious and innovative project

Formulec and SEGULA Technologies wish to apply the most advanced technologies in terms of electric propulsion to the world of high-level motor racing, in particular that of a new generation racing car.

Formulec and the EF01 are the precursors of motor racing of the future. Together, they confirm the technological showcase that is major races where research, performance and innovation are intimately linked to reach a level of excellence.

Many technological innovations were used in designing this racing car, with above all, a highly compact and integrated architecture, and optimized battery distribution around the car.

With the advent of the EF01 and its avant-garde technology, new horizons of investigation will open up for all those involved in this ambitious project. They will accelerate research, improve the effectiveness of solutions on offer for
electric propulsion and, as required, adapt them to the cars of tomorrow.

Ultimately, the sporting and showcase vocation of motor racing will be strengthened by this technological dimension. More than ever, Formulec and EF01 in their field, are contributing to making top motor sport a laboratory for new technologies resolutely aiming for the future.

Development by prestigious partners

With financial backing from the Yvelines General Council, the EF01 took two and a half years to develop. Today, it brings together the best of international skills.

General technical coordination for the EF01 is provided by SEGULA Matra Technologies, the automotive branch of SEGULA Technologies. Its reputation in the field of automatic electric propulsion has been proven over many years. SEGULA Technologies entrusted the design of the EF01 to people at ease with this technology, also with proven experience in the field of electric racing with the Andros Car.

As regards the architecture of the car, and in particular its aerodynamic and thermal development, Formulec and Segula Matra Technologies went directly to F1, the most technologically efficient sporting field, to get the skills they needed. An agreement was signed with the MERCEDES GP PETRONAS Formula One Team, to produce the first prototype EF01, and a 40% scale model that was tested in the team's Brackley wind tunnel.

Other major names in the automotive and electrical energy industry made a direct and very active contribution to the genesis of this ambitious project. They are witness to the high hopes placed in the EF01 and its future developments.

SIEMENS can call on over 400 000 employees throughout the world and skills in many
activities concerning industry, energy and transport. The German company will be
supplying the two electric motors for the EF01.

SAFT, world leader in high-technology batteries used its experience in the field of aeronautics,
defence and space and more than 15 years of know-how in lithium-ion batteries to develop a
special battery system for the EF01.

MICHELIN, the world number one in tyre innovation, adapted new energy-saving
tyres to the power and torque of the EF01 motors.

ART Grand Prix, the most successful team recently in GP2, GP3 and Formula 3
Euroseries, is actively involved in developing and operating the EF01.

HEWLAND, leading supplier of gearboxes for motor racing, developed a special
unique transmission system.

Also present at the highest level of motor sport, the company OZ supplied the rims for
the Michelin tyres.

Finally, 2D Sigmalis worked on measurements and telemetry, essential for collecting
and analysing the many data to be processed.

First-rate technical characteristics

With a maximum speed of over 250 kph, the EF01 offers a very high level of performance, similar to that of a combustion engine Formula 3. At the end of its development, the EF01 will, depending on the track, have race
autonomy of 20 to 25 minutes. This autonomy, linked to the performance of the Li-ion Saft battery, combined with the exceptional torque of the two SIEMENS electric motors, its two-speed gearbox and devices such as the "push to pass", will allow for spectacular races.

A Championship open to manufacturers...

From 2011, as part of specific events or as openers on numerous circuits throughout the world, the EF01 will be able to demonstrate its performance potential. A Formulec world series, comprising a dozen or so events per year, will be launched
the following year, in 2012, and continue in 2013. This will enable drivers to measure themselves at the wheel of the EF01 in 5 Continents.

Finally, when the technical and sporting lessons learned have enabled suitable regulations to be validated, Formulec will become a Championship open to all manufacturers who will have developed an electric racing car that complies with these regulations.

"The world market for electric vehicles should reach 10% of total industrial production by 2020", declared recently one of the major leaders in the automotive sector, convinced of the growth in this new market.Already, most manufacturers are putting their imaginations to use in order to meet this challenge. The stakes are high as innovation is at the heart of this new challenge, a way for everyone to enrich their own "Technology DNA" via significant investments in research and development.

Formulec will therefore offer industrialists and car makers a decidedly innovative Championship where everyone will be able to show off their commitment to these profound changes.

Quotation by Nicolas Deschaux, President of the FFSA

"I am delighted with this first step achieved by Formulec, with the launch of the prototype EF01, which also symbolizes the success of true collaboration with the FFSA, both with its Alternative Energy Commission and its technical departments.
I have noted the serious involvement of the partners for two years, who have done their best to resolve the technical challenges and develop the racing car. Finally, this project perfectly illustrates the spirit of innovation that exists in motor
sports, and is perfectly coherent with the latest decisions of the FIA World Council
regarding the creation of a future Championship for electric racing cars."

The EF01 is opening a new road on which other electric racing cars will soon be running, a road on which many pioneers will meet, those for whom motor sports are intimately linked with an adventure made of passion, innovation and technology.

Discover the EF01 in action on the Magny-Cours track on www.formulec.org

About Formulec
Formulec is a company specializing in the development of high-level automotive sports projects, using new
technologies and alternative energies.
Based in Paris, the company promotes and organizes events around the electrically-driven racing car, nationally and
internationally. Formulec also provides marketing and communication and creates Series and Championships suited
to tomorrow's automotive sport. For 10 years, the founders of Formulec have participated in innovative projects
concerning evolutions in automotive mobility.
For more information, consult the Formulec website: www.formulec.org

About SEGULA Technologies
SEGULA Technologies is one of the leading engineering and consultancy firms in innovation offering their customers
innovative solutions in the development of their products, production resources and information systems. Its
employees share a common passion for technology and the same culture of quality and performance. SEGULA
Technologies services are aimed at all business sectors, be it industry or services: automobile and industrial vehicles,
aeronautics, naval, rail, defence, energy, nuclear, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, banking, insurance, telecoms...
SEGULA Technologies is present mainly in Europe, but also in the Mediterranean basin, in Asia, the United States
and Mercosur. The group is continuing geographic deployment, to support its growth and accompany its customers
in their international business.
For more information, consult the SEGULA Technologies website at: www.segula.fr or www.segulagroup.com

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think electric drive would be perfect for a series like Arena Racing:
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is great! I hae developed an electric hybrid combat vehicle and the performance is great. With the electric racing car here, I hope the world's eyes will open!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sounds like BS to me. They provide no technical specs at all other than saying it'll do "0 to 100 kph in 3 seconds and a top speed greater than 250 kph"

      All the BS music video editing doesn't disguise the fact the converted F3 car was going SLOW!
        • 8 Months Ago
        Apparently you don't realize the power of emotor with right batteries. It is _easy_ to make such a car that goes over 250kph and accelerates 0-60 in less than 3 seconds with electric drivetrain, especially as small frontal area as F3 car has. Only thing that can be questioned is that driving time, which is not overoptimistic either with modern Li-ion batteries.

        Tesla Roadster has 0-100kph less than 4 second time and top speed of 200kph with _single_ gear, weights over a ton and it is not the most aerodynamic cars around. Just using a bit tuned Roadsters drivetrain with smaller frontal area, more modern batteries, less weight by reducing battery cooling systems (air instead of liquid) and chassis structure and a bit more power to emotor could easily produce such numbers, probably even without second gear, with it without question.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Good luck to them, but without the noise I doubt it will be profitably popular. The video hides this by playing a macho soundtrack to mask the silence.

      Go to Youtube and play an F1 video with the sound muted. It's not the same; not even close.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Where i live, i get serious sinus issues if i spend any appreciable amount of time bicycling anywhere near the major roads or driving with my window open. There's a reason why i don't attend racing events.

        I can certainly live without sucking those fumes in.

        And yeah, i've learned to love the whine of an electric motor. I can't imagine what a few dozen electric cars on a track sounds like. Take a nascar track and pitch it up 7 octaves, i bet.. lol.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Electric engines and transmissions are not completely silent, neither are those cars tires and air displacement. You just lose that loud stone-age lump of metal in them. I bet watching those would be very entertaining.
        • 4 Years Ago

        Tell me that is not exciting in any way...

        And best of all, you won't have to be so far away from them since you won't have to worry about inhaling massive amounts of burnt race fuel for hours.

        If someone thinks electric drag racing could never be exciting just because electric cars aren't loud, they need to challenge their minds a little. There is no question wether or not this is the future of racing. And electric racing is getting hotter year after year.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Middle Way

        I hardly consider inhaling massive amounts of burnt race fuel for hours a downside to watching racing...just sayin'.

        Sometimes, I wish I could wear GT100 as cologne just because...
      • 4 Years Ago
      nice gesture but it really should be formula 1. or become so popular that formula 1 ends

      a serious electric formula car should also be able to do 0-100km/h in 1 second. no high school amateur hour.
      and the teaser video should be it outrunning a formula 1 car for real. which is also possible.
      and battery swap of course. 20 minutes is plenty to make it workable.
      would be very cool to see big money and engineering talent put to developing electric drivetrains because the potential there is huge. easily as fast as current F1.
      and F1 would again be a technology leader unlike now.

      they should allow variable geometry so they don't waste so much on down force at high speed.
      it would be amazing, it could really move battery research forward if formula 1 money was behind it.
      very unimpressive that F1 doesn't get it yet but that has to do with the obtuse car makers behind the various brands. some of which are owned by oil money like VW is.

      I would actually want to watch F1 if they went electric..
      do I care about the V10s they currently use... not even a little
        • 4 Years Ago
        just goes to show how little I care because it doesn't matter..
        • 4 Years Ago
        For once I totally agree with you. Battery swaps during pit stops (can be done well under one minute), enough power to make F1 shame and right kind of aerodynamics and you have faster than ICE F1 car for real.

        I would try to keep it single-speed transmission though. Just boost the torque and RPM so that you don't need that second gear. 0-60 time is not that important, it is the 60-200 that matters. F1 -type cars go even "slow" curves over 60 mph speeds. It reduces weight and is one point less to break. Weight is a big issue in race cars (I wonder how much one of those cars weight)
        • 4 Years Ago
        what is this mph you speak of? surely not the archaic unit that the backwards USAnians use..

        I like the elegance of a single gear too but I'd leave that up to individual teams to decide for themselves. formula is not afraid of a bit of complexity and I suspect it can be advantageous to have a couple of gears.

        battery swap should be possible in 10 seconds like tires and refueling. noone can afford 1 minute in a race. some kind of wheeled rig, maybe powered.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Dan, they haven't used V10's in 5 years or more.

        If you're going to bash F1, then at least know what you're talking about.

        3.0 L V10, engine may have no more than 5 valves per cylinder.

      • 4 Years Ago
      The chase is on, already, electric motorcycle racing is evolving fast
      In 2009, the first electric TT race, 38 miles, mountain roads.
      See TTXGP or eGrandPrix, you may be surprised
      A post-oil future for motor racing is being built
      The rate of evolution is rising.......
      All the best
      • 4 Years Ago
      Remember Thunder Boats? The roaring engines were considered an integral part of the sport and spectator experience... until the quieter jet engine boats showed up and won all the races. Electric racers will have the advantage in their potential to win. Sounding cool is nice but, one day soon, if you pollute and fail to make the podium you will be forgotten and left behind.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This has potential, however it has to attract racing fans or it's dead on arrival. 20 minute races wont do it, and a spec series wont either. To compete with F1 (which means getting major manufacturer support), there needs to be enough leeway in the rules for companies to design and develop their own motors and cars.
        • 8 Months Ago
        That is a good point. I hope/assume that they will have enough room in the specs to allow other manufacturers in for the different components. Otherwise it is just an interesting show case for EVs but not something that pushes the envelope for the technology.

        I want to see Remy and Oxford YASA compete with Siemens and UQM to see who really has the best electric motors.

        Based on this statement, I believe this is where they are going:
        " Finally, when the technical and sporting lessons learned have enabled suitable regulations to be validated, Formulec will become a Championship open to all manufacturers who will have developed an electric racing car that complies with these regulations "
        • 8 Months Ago
        I don't know about competing with F1 (which is deeply ingrained in global culture and would take a long time to ovrtake), but I think spec racing and 20 minute races could work well.

        VW has had a lot of success from their spec-race TDI cup, and Renault Clio Cup is successful in Europe, so a LEAF cup or ZOE cup series could potentially do well (although it is not intended to be a top-tier series).

        Major racing series get most of their money and exposure from TV, rather than people at the event. Many major race series have a hard time fitting into time slots, and often have to add technical features, short bio-films and the like to maintain audience attention during long races. To launch a new series, having 5 minutes to cover intro and qualifying and ~20 minutes of racing would be about perfect to fit in a 30 minute time slot. Put the series inside or use all-weather tires so that it will start and end at a specific time, and it could become an attractive proposition to networks (at least cable networks). The full evening of races could include qualifying heats or other series, but the final could be in "ready for TV" format.

        Like Race of Champions, by putting it in stadiums (that don't have to worry about exhaust with electric cars), you could expand the reach beyond traditional race fans (and make use of stadiums that are empty most of the year).

        Also, with quick-drop, you could do longer races.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Two motors, I assume that means 4-wheel drive. This should develop into the major series as batteries improve and electric cars with their more precise 4 wheel traction control will eventually out perform Formula One.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ah, not so fast...unless they've developed some sort of invisible driveshaft for the front wheels, this is still RWD.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sounds very exciting. Good for the EV industry and good for racing. Instead of short races, however, I'd like to see pit crews racing to manually swap batteries. The action in the pits is sometimes the most exciting.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why can't the greenies keep their hands off our racing? Formula racing with no sound? No thanks, it's half the experience. 20-25 minute racing? No thank you.

      Rewind and come again. A season of Formula one uses less fuel and produces less emissions than ONE NY-London trans-atlantic flight. As always, these people are barking up the wrong tree.

      p.d. @ Dan, unfortunately, F1 has downsized to V8s, they don't use V10s anymore, but I guess you still wouldn't care either way.
        • 8 Months Ago
        ...And that one transatlantic flight moves a lot more people further than whole F1 season. In fact those transatlantic jets get better mpg/person than ordinary car.

        This is not done for "green" purposes, but because electric cars just are future and they can perform a lot better than ICE cars. Some of the battery models give out absolutely enormous power, something like 30+kW/kg. 10 gallon size battery could give out over 1000kW. The time when BEV F1 beats ICE F1 in complete race is not far away. In short race they could already do that.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is awesome. I truly believe nothing will push the technology like racing will. It will push batteries, supercaps, the controllers....everything. We will find out where the weak links are, lower the weight and complexity of the components.

      Eventually it will be ready to be the next generation of Formula 1. It may be ten years down the road, but it will happen.
        • 8 Months Ago
        I couldn't agree more.

        Sport is a great way to get to the hearts and minds of the general populous.

        The sport would push R&D of the components which is exactly what EV industry needs right now in its re-birth as a main stream motor vehicle.
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