Earlier this year, McLaren confirmed its development of new hybrid powertrains to be introduced in its vehicle lineup and that it was even considering building an all-electric version of the P1 or P1 GTR. Now McLaren will have a great opportunity to showcase its battery technology as it was announced that the British-based automaker won a contract to supply the battery pack for upcoming seasons of the Formula E championship.
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The automaker won the contract with its ‘McLaren Applied Technologies’ amid rumors of a possible tie-up with Apple, who is also rumoured to be working on an all-electric vehicle under its ‘Project Titan’.
McLaren will start supplying the battery packs for Formula E vehicles starting with the 2018 season and the contract is for a total of 2 seasons.
The automaker and Formula E say that the battery technology will allow to double the current capacity and enable the drivers to complete a full race distance in a single car instead of changing vehicle mid-race like they currently do.
Rodi Basso, Motorsport Director of McLaren Applied Technologies, said about the announcement:
“We’re delighted McLaren has been chosen by the FIA to be the sole supplier of batteries to Formula E from 2018 to 2020. Our new battery will almost double the energy storage, eliminating the need for drivers to swap cars during a race. As well as providing a global showcase for our sustainable technologies, this win provides another example of McLaren Applied Technologies’ vision to work closely with series partners to do our bit to help make the fan experience quicker and slicker.”
Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E, also commented on the announcement:
“I am absolutely delighted that a company with such a reputation for engineering excellence and expertise like McLaren Applied Technologies will be producing the new battery. Over just four seasons, Formula E will have inspired a 100 per cent increase in range – a phenomenal achievement. We will continue to push the boundaries of electric car technology and we can expect even greater gains to be possible when the third generation of batteries arrive for season seven.”
It was revealed last week that Porsche was also seeking the battery supply contract for Formula E, among other companies like Redbull and Williams Advanced Engineering – the current battery supplier for the Championship.
The next season of the Formula E will start October 9, 2016 in Hong Kong.