From fast charging to micro-grids
The ABB FIA Formula E Championship, held on city circuits and organised for the first time in the 2014-2015 season, is the first and most important international motor racing competition for fully electric, single-seat cars. Enel is not just the official partner of Formula E, more importantly; Enel X provides the essential technologies.
When you are in a race, the decisive factor is speed. Our fast charging technology for electric batteries takes 7 times less time than conventional technologies: a Formula E single-seater is fully charged in about 45 minutes, compared to more than 5 hours for less advanced versions.
Perhaps our most important contribution to Formula E is the microgrid. Plants for generating electricity from renewables, electricity storage devices, smart systems for energy management, in addition to the cars themselves, all form part of an integrated network designed to optimise efficiency and sustainability.
It is a “mini city” where everything is electrified, including buses for the public and machinery equipping the circuit: the equivalent, on a small scale, of the smart cities of the future.
In this city, a fundamental role is played by our most technologically advanced products: storage, which allows electricity to be distributed at any time, and the Energy Management System, which can provide in real time, via tablet or smartphone, all the data on consumption and other energy indicators, i.e., just what the technicians need before, during and after the race. But what matters most is the integration of all these components into a microgrid that minimises the impact of the EPrix on the electricity grid of the host city, making the event even more sustainable.
MotoE goes even further
The success of Formula E has led to the establishment of the motorcycle equivalent, which will debut in 2019 and will be called FIM Enel MotoE World Cup: in this case, Enel is actually the main sponsor, and Enel X is technical partner of MotoE ™.
As with the competition for four-wheeled vehicles, our basic contribution to MotoE consists of the supply of electricity from renewables and the creation of integrated microgrids. Building on our experience in Formula E, we will also ensure the maximum efficiency and sustainability for the new competition.
But there will be specific innovations that go even further, thanks to our technology combined with the new electric motorcycles in competition, built by the Italian company Energica. The motorbikes can be charged not only in the pits, but also in any other part of the circuit, thanks to a specially designed mobile charger. Connected to Enel’s smart e-mobility platform and easily transportable from the pits to the track edge, it will be able to fully charge the motorbikes in less than 30 minutes.
Other impacts, promotion and awareness raising
Everything we do for e-mobility sports competitions is not an end in itself; it is closely tied to our technological innovation.
Finally, the appeal that sport can have for its viewing public in these cases does much more than a promotional campaign could ever do. From a market perspective, raising consumer awareness of the benefits of electric mobility is the crucial element in overcoming prejudices and finally enabling the large-scale development of the sector.