The BMW i8 was presented to guests and press as the official FIA Formula E Championship safety car at Donington Park on Tuesday. A formal announcement should follow shortly as the course cars are subject to approval. A team of technical specialists are testing two BMW’s i8 and two BMW i3 models with the aim to evaluate them for the series’ official safety, medical and extraction car roles.
The cars will be equipped with Qualcomm Halo™ wireless charging technology – an inductive charging system which allows the car’s battery to be charged without the use of cables. It uses resonant magnetic induction to transfer energy between a ground-based pad and a charging pad fitted to the underside of the vehicle. The cars can then simply park over the base pad for charging to start automatically.
The choice to work with this type of technology is simple: it will allow the organisation to deploy (hybrid) electric course cars quickly whenever they are necessary.
The technology will be integrated by Drayson Racing Technologies, as owner and electric racing pioneer Lord Paul Drayson is a licensee of Qualcomm Halo™ technology. Integration of the technology in the first car took four weeks.
The chosen safety car – which will be officially entitled the Qualcomm Safety Car – will be driven by experienced driver Bruno Correia, whilst the medical and extraction cars will be overseen by FIA Medical Delegate Dr Phil Rayner and his team.
Must read: A visionary article ElectricAutosport.com wrote about the possibilities of wireless charging and the involvement of Qualcomm in Formula E can be found here. More details about the launch will be published shortly.
BMW i8 key specifications (production car):
- Electric range: 35 km
- Maximum total range: >500 km
- Gross capacity of lithium-ion battery: 7.1 kWh
- Top speed fully electric: 120 km/h
- Top speed: 250 km/h
- Acceleration 0–60 km/h on purely electric power: 4.5 seconds
- Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 4.4 seconds
- Dry weight: 1,490 kg
- System output: 266 Kw (362 hp)
- Electric motor: Output 96 kW
- Electric motor: Max. torque in 250 Nm
- Internal combustion engine: Capacity 1,500 ccm