You may only have to wait between two and five years to start seeing technology that is currently being used by Formula E manufacturers in new electric road cars.
DS Performance Director Xavier Pinon is confident that the technology being used in the series will filter down within the next five years to road cars, which will begin the next generation of electric road vehicles.
“Depending on the components it will take between 2 to 5 years before parts in a Formula E car they can be readily produced for road cars,” explained Pinon. “The reason why we can’t do it now is that the road cars will cost far too much.”
Pinon agrees that Formula E is accelerating electric technology, as it allows manufacturers to take risks, that they can’t take unless they are in a motorsport series.
“The key point is that in a race car we can take more risk compared to the road car department. Our driver has a helmet during the race. It helps us to accelerate all our R&D capabilities. It accelerates our R&D for all our technology, and at the same time, it accelerates our R&D for our supplier. So all the parts we develop for the race car is not for the street-car, but the technology that we are developing is for the street-car,” added Pinon.
Pinon was unable to predict how the range of a battery will increase in electric road cars, as many factors need to be considered in the design of a car that will affect its range.
“The range is difficult to speak about because it depends on the efficiency of the powertrain and the number of cells that you have in the batteries, so it is difficult to speak about it.
“If you have a look at the season one car compared to the season five car in terms of range. The step is incredible, and that is very important also in road cars development. I predict that soon we will have something similar to the road car.”
The final challenge that Pinon believes all manufacturers will face is making the customers love electric cars, and proving that it is worth switching from an internal combustion engine.
“To achieve that, first we need to have the right car in our shop, but we need to be sure that our customers buy it and will love the new technology, and we need to make customers fall in love with electric cars so they buy it,” concluded Pinon.