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.
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 Prmat, 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
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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