DS Automobiles

What Formula E means for the electric future

25. August 2022, 12:23 Uhr | Irina Hübner
DS Automobiles ist von Anfang an bei der Formel E dabei.
© DS Automobiles

DS Automobiles is helping to drive developments in e-mobility with its involvement in the all-electric racing series. The DS E-Tense Performance shows how Formula E technology can be used on the road in the future.

When FIA President Jean Todt and Spanish businessman and later Formula E Chairman Alejandro Agag had the idea for the first all-electric Formula E championship over dinner in a Paris restaurant in 2011, they recorded their thoughts on a simple napkin. That it would become an international championship just three years later was something they could hardly have dreamed of that evening. The founders knew that electric vehicles could make a major contribution to zero-emission mobility and that this knowledge needed to be brought into the public consciousness.

Formula E should inspire and be accessible and affordable for a large audience, thus showing what sustainable racing can look like. DS Automobiles was immediately convinced of the importance of this mission. As the first premium manufacturer, DS Automobiles has been involved in Formula E since 2015 and is helping to drive the development of the 100 percent electric series.

Quantum leaps in e-mobility

The difference between racing series and production vehicles is easily explained: driving fast with a limited amount of energy (Formula E) versus driving far with a limited amount of energy (production vehicles) - the approach is a similar one. A crucial parameter for the performance of electric vehicles is the battery voltage. The higher the voltage, the more powerful the batteries and the greater the range. At the beginning of the racing series, no one believed that it would be possible to produce batteries with a voltage of 700 V. Currently, 900 V batteries are already installed in the racing cars.

What is the genius of Formula E?

The Formula E teams involved are working on constantly improving the efficiency of the vehicles. In doing so, they are making an enormous contribution to the development of e-mobility in general. Since the first generation (Gen1) of Formula E single-seaters in the inaugural 2014/15 season, Formula E has made immense technological leaps. With Gen2 in season 2018/19, for example, the energy storage capacity of the Gen1 car doubled, making it possible to complete a full race for the first time. Car changes in the middle of the race, as had been the case until then, were thus a thing of the past.

Currently, DS Performance is working on the next generation of Formula E single-seaters, the Gen3, which will be used from 2023. More power, a lighter chassis, a renewed battery and significantly increased recuperation performance will ensure even more action.

Thus, with each new generation of race cars, the limits of what is possible for electric vehicles are pushed.

From the race series to the road

DS Automobiles is focusing on the close link between the research of its racing division DS Performance and the future of its production models. The DS E-Tense Performance prototype, which will be unveiled as early as the beginning of 2022, will serve as a high-performance laboratory for testing and evaluating new technologies. Equipped with two electric motors with a total output of 600 kW and a battery with innovative chemistry, it reaches 100 km/h in just 2.0 seconds.

The experience gained will soon lead to the launch of an all-new, more powerful and efficient electric motor destined for DS production models.

The DS record chase

The 8th ABB FIA Formula E World Championship recently came to an end and DS Automobiles finished the season in third place in the team standings.

With its own first-generation single-seater (Gen1), equipped with a 200 kW motor and a 28 kWh battery, DS Automobiles took five victories between 2015 and 2018 and twice finished in the top three in the team standings.

DS Techeetah clearly made its mark on the four seasons of the Gen2 single-seater: With power boosted to 250 kW and a 52 kWh battery, DS took two team titles and two drivers' titles (Jean-Éric Vergne in 2019 and António Félix da Costa in 2020). In those four seasons, the Paris-based team set a record for wins (10), a record for pole positions (14) and a record for podiums (28) in 55 races, while finishing in the top three of the team standings every year.

Based on these records, DS Automobiles has this year begun development of the third generation (Gen3) of the single-seater, the most powerful and advanced 100% electric race car. With power increased to 350 kW and the ability to recover (recuperate) 600 kW of the energy generated by the front and rear axles, this new race car will be the fastest and most efficient ever built.

»DS Automobiles has put electrification at the heart of its strategy since its creation. Formula E and the work of DS Performance are driving the development of new solutions for more sustainable mobility. Since 2019, DS Automobiles has had a 100% electrified offering and we are further accelerating this transformation: from 2024, all new DS Automobiles models will come exclusively 100% electric,« commented Béatrice Foucher, CEO of DS Automobiles.

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