Is wireless charging right for Formula-e?

Next year the Formula-e Championship will commence. The FIA has realised a number of years back, that Electric Vehicles are on the rise. If they did not start a Championship to cater for the Electric E-volution they will loose out to a rival championship.

Last week Qualcomm that they will be making their wireless charging amenities available for Formula-e, albeit for the safety car only. The long term plans seem to include the expansion of the use of this technology, perhaps to the participating racing cars.

I question wether this is the right move and this is why:

Does charging an electric car, while it races, not remind you of a warped, real-world form of Scalextrics? Just imagine the cars flying of the track the way they use to when you played the game with your childhood mates. Should a championship with the prestige that the FIA brings with it not rather advance real-world technologies?

Yes, in practicality wireless charging can and has been incorporated in real-world applications. Such as electric busses being charged wirelessly in South Korea. Something I would not mind seeing Cape Town’s MyCiti to emulate. I, however, think that this is where (for the time being) this technology should remain: In the Bus lane.

The immediate future of Electric Vehicles may very well be in battery-swopping, like Tesla’s SuperCharger stations will soon offer.

Incorporating this technique into the racing pits of various competing electric cars will increase the competitive edge, precisely where it is needed. The faster the swop can happen, the quicker the car is back on the racetrack. I believe this will make for a far more interesting competition. On the track, but also off the track. Engineers will be working hard to ensure their battery swopping techniques are fast and efficient. Furthermore, there is an array of different batteries (particularly with different range/weight ratios) that can be utilised, thereby also increasing the thrill of competitive racing tactics.


Either way, I am looking forward to Formula-e.

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