Under the current regulations, the electric motors are allowed to produce as much as 200 kilowatts (equivalent to 268 horsepower). The original plan was to increase that amount to 250 kW (335 hp) for season three, but that increase has now been delayed. Next season the cars will run once again at 200 kW, but in season four, that amount will be increased to 220 kW (295 hp), and up to the targeted 250 kW for season five.
"Although there is scope within the technical regulations for battery power to be raised to 250kW next season," the FIA explained in the statement below, "after careful analysis of the performance of the batteries and the cost of developing this technology, the decision was made to phase in the power increase more gradually."
That doesn't mean that performance won't increase next season, however. While the power boost won't be coming online as early as expected, series organizers are implementing two changes for the third championship: Firstly, the cars will be allowed to regenerate up to 150 kW (201 hp) under braking instead of the current 100 kW (134 hp). The FIA is also reducing the minimum weight of the cars by eight kilograms (17.6 pounds) from 888 kg (1,958 lbs) to 880 (1,940 lbs).
Compared to other single-seaters, Formula E racers are relatively heavy and under-powered. Most contemporary formula racers fielded in other series weigh around 600-700 kilograms (~1,300-1,500 lbs). But a Formula Renault 3.5 car produces 480 hp, GP2 cars run at around 620 hp, and a modern F1 car produces closer to 1,000 hp.
The Formula E cars will have a 25 per cent increase in power over the next three seasons.
While the amount of power available for the drivers for season three will remain at a maximum of 200kW, for season four this will rise to 220kW before being hiked to 250kW in season five.
Although there is scope within the technical regulations for battery power to be raised to 250kW next season, as outlined in the original technical road map, after careful analysis of the performance of the batteries and the cost of developing this technology, the decision was made to phase in the power increase more gradually.
Two changes that are coming online for season three are raising the permitted amount of regeneration to 150kW from its current level of 100kW, and reducing the weight of the car from the current 888kg to 880kg.