Williams To Engineer Battery System for Formula E | Edmunds

Williams To Engineer Battery System for Formula E

Just the Facts:
  • Williams Advanced Engineering will develop the battery system for the Formula E electric-car racing series.
  • Formula E is scheduled to launch next season.
  • Williams joins Renault and Spark Racing Technologies in development of the new cars and their power systems.

GROVE, England — Williams Advanced Engineering will partner with Spark Racing Technology to produce the battery system for the electric-car racing series Formula E, which is slated to take to the tracks next year.

Williams Advanced Engineering is a division of the corporate entity that fields the Williams F1 team in Formula 1. The division's mission is to commercially develop F1-based technologies.

Formula E will be sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, the governing body of Formula 1. In March, the new series announced a tentative eight-race schedule, with events on temporary circuits in major cities in Europe, North and South America and Asia.

Renault, another current F1 participant, announced in May that it will be a technical partner with Spark to focus on developing the electric powertrain for the new cars, which will use chassis by Dallara.

"We are delighted to be partnering with Spark Racing Technology to introduce our battery technology into their cars for next year's FIA Formula E Championship," said Sir Frank Williams, Williams company founder. "This is an exciting new racing series that will play a key role in highlighting the growing relevance of technologies originally developed for motorsport to the wider world."

Williams' battery energy storage capability was derived from its work following the introduction of Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) into F1 in 2009. Williams Advanced Engineering now engineers battery and flywheel energy storage systems for motorsport and non-motorsport applications.

Last year's Le Mans-winning Audi R18 E-tron quattro used a flywheel hybrid system developed by Williams.

"I am delighted to welcome Williams into our new ambitious project, said Spark Racing Technology president Frederic Vasseur. "The vast experience from Williams and especially from Williams Advanced Engineering in the field of hybrid systems and electric engine power guarantees quality."

Edmunds says: Motorsport, says Sir Frank, "will always be the ultimate proving ground for our technologies." Formula E is without question one of the boldest steps in the history of racing.

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