Formula E raises battery power for season 2

Power Jumps To 170 kW From 150 kW, Season Starts In Beijing

Those fast little electric race cars zooming around those urban racecourses as part of the FIA Formula E Championship electric-racecar series are about to get a little faster. Formula E is boosting the maximum-allowable power for the cars to 170 kilowatts. The limits were initially set at 133 kW but were boosted to 150 kW just before the debut racing season started.

Formula E agreed to increase the max power after battery supplier Williams Advanced Engineering ran a number of tests indicating that the power boost was in order. The maximum allowable power during practice and qualifying sessions remains at 200 kW.

Last month, it was announced that Jacques Villeneuve, the French-Canadian racer and son of the legendary Gilles Villeneuve, will replace Nick Heidfeld at the Venturi team for the upcoming season. Villeneuve was named 1994 Rookie of the Year in the IndyCar series, among other accolades. Formula E also made news last month when it was announced that Switzerland's Simona de Silvestro signed a full-time contract to drive in the series for the Andretti Autosport team, becoming the first full-time female Formula E driver in the process.

Additionally, this summer, French automaker Renault said it would increase its involvement in Formula E, including building powertrains for the e.dams team.

The Formula E series' second season kicks off in Beijing on October 24. Other racing locales for the second season include Malaysia, Uruguay, Indonesia and Long Beach, California. Take a look at Formula E's press release below.

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Race mode power hike for season two

The FIA Formula E Championship has increased the maximum power of the battery in race mode to 170kW for season two of the all-electric racing series.

The change has been introduced following a number of tests by Williams Advanced Engineering, the sole battery supplier for Formula E, to assess the feasibility of a 30 per cent power increase. The batteries were initially designed to meet season one technical specifications of a maximum power of 133kW. This was later increased to 150kW ahead of the inaugural season.

Maximum power of 200kW will still be available during practice and qualifying sessions. The amount of energy that can be delivered to the powertrain by the RESS will remain limited to 28kWh.

Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag said: "The development of future battery technologies is fundamental to the ethos of the championship. Formula E is all about showcasing the progression of electric vehicle technology and thanks to the battery development from Williams Advanced Engineering we will see faster, more efficient and exciting racing this coming season."

Craig Wilson, managing director of Williams Advanced Engineering, said: "Formula E is all about pushing electric vehicle technology to its limits and showcasing its evolution to the public. Williams Advanced Engineering is working on a diverse portfolio of electric and hybrid vehicle projects and the learnings from Formula E are invaluable in developing our technology.

During season two the batteries will now be operating at 30 per cent more power than they were initially designed for and we have upgraded certain components and worked closely with the teams to make sure that this is sustainable without significantly affecting reliability."

The opening race of the second season of the FIA Formula E Championship takes place in Beijing on October 24.

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