Formulino E has been revealed during an electric vehicle congress in Geneva on Wednesday. The converted Formula 3 racer may form a feeder series to Formula E as early as next year.
The car has been developed by a consortium existing of Dallara and Belgian based technical and entertainment companies. Thierry Deflandre, the former CEO of Circuit Zolder who already has rolled out sustainable activities, is the driving force behind the project.
“It’s a dream come true to develop and realise Formulino E; an affordable electric single seater”, Deflandre told ElectricAutosport.com. “It’s the result of 3,5 years of hard work. I’m pleased that Punch Powertrain was able to develop the powertrain and that Dallara supplied a vehicle.”
A Dallara F007 FIA Formula 3 vehicle and the by Punch Powertrain developed electric powertrain form the basis of the Formulino E electric racer. Powered by a 15kWh battery pack, the EP2-R powertrain delivers 120kW (163 hp). It weighs 600 kg and sprints to 100 km/h in four seconds. Top speed lies above 200 km/h. The package lasts about 20 minutes and a battery swap remains a possibility. ElectricAutosport.com understands that the package can be easily upgraded to 200kW (272 hp). It would then meet a similar specification as the current Formula E car.
“Punch Powertrain had the objective to develop an affordable and simple powertrain. And I made their lives a bit difficult because I didn’t want to fit the batteries in the sidepods,” Deflandre explained. “So the package had to be developed in a way that it would fit behind the driver where normally the conventional engine was placed. They found a solution and made sure there is enough cooling too.”
Possible feeder series
A full grid of Formulino E vehicles might form a support series to current categories like Formula E and Electric GT Championship; a Tesla cars based category that is planning to race from the second half of this year. Deflandre said the cars would be ready to complete a first race already at the end of this year and a championship can be launched for next season.
“We aim to realise twenty cars this year. After that we can scale up. We are in negotiation to initiate the first race already this year and that would be part of our learning curve. In the long run we are looking for a promotor who would like to order twenty cars and to become our partner,” Deflandre explained.
When asked if he is in contact with Formula E and Electric GT Championship, he confirmed: “We are maintaining contact actively.”
To become a feeder series may just the beginning as Deflandre aims to broaden his activities. “Because we can offer a larger package of activities, too. From electric go-karts to electric motocross, bicycles, drift cars, an education programme and rides with electric vehicles. We can fill the paddock and fill up the track time as well.”
“In this way we can create an accessible feeder series and concerning the technology there will be a good correlation between the industry and racing. Because the powertrain is compact and affordable, the possibilities are endless,” he concluded.