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EDITORIAL: The future of motorsports is…quiet

  • Magazine Article
  • 19AUTP08_09
Published January 01, 2019 by SAE International in United States
  • English

Perched up on jackstands, its fat Michelin-shod wheels removed, the Audi e-tron FE05 looks like a multicolored shark out of water. Mechanics are swirling around this battery-electric race car, preparing it for a practice session during the Brooklyn E-Prix-the final race of the 2019 FIA Formula E championship season in New York.

Standing just outside the garage perimeter on a hot July morning, I watch clouds of steam swirl around the rear of the car, one of two FE05s campaigned by the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team. While charging, the 52 kW-h lithium-ion battery is being force-fed cold air through its radiator side pods to keep it thermally happy. The dry-ice clouds are a familiar pit scene in Formula E racing, a signature of the “JuicePump” charging system from Italian renewable-energy giant Enel that is used by each of the 11 teams in this 13-race global series.