‘Electric car Formula E-race to help Mahindras’
Mahindra & Mahindra’s participation in the world championship for electric cars Formula E will help the company in development of mass-produced eco-friendly vehicles, according to a top official of the series. With technology already trickling down, innovation in the electric racing car around battery, drive train and charging system will help in the design and development of the vehicles at large scale in the long run, said Formula E Director of Media and Strategic Partnerships Ali Russell.
Company’s engineers are working to learn from the racing series and already there is a transfer of information between the race team and the factory, he said. “Engineers from Mahindra who work in the factory, spend time in the race outlet. What happens even now, they are getting to understand cooling systems, chemistry behind the batteries, about high performance, how to get more out of an electric motor,” he said.
When asked how soon technology from Formula E cars can be seen in road cars, he said, “it is already (happening) with small engineering points that are being transferred in car design. In the long term we dream about the battery coming through Formula E.” Russell said the idea behind Formula E is that the international motorsport body FIA has been looking “at creating a sport that creates innovation for the electric car industry”.
“With these innovations, we want to be cost effective be it for electric drive train, battery and charging system,” he added. Mahindra s& Mahindra, like most other companies, has invested heavily in the electric cars and has helped in creation of new intellectual properties.
“Moving forward, the innovation in the car around battery, drive train and charging system will help in the design and development of mass production (electric) vehicle,” Russell said. Earlier, Mahindra & Mahindra Executive Director Pawan Goenka had said that the company “hoped that through the racing we will be able to bring technologies to our road cars. It is a gradual thing.”
He, however, hastened to add that it is a long process and not something that would happen in a year as what goes into racing cars are too expensive to come immediately to road cars. On the Indian market, Russell said: “We want to be a catalyst in creation and innovations for urban and green mobility in India.” Mahindra & Mahindra is taking part in Formula E through its Mahindra Racing team. This season it is racing with its M2Electro, making it one of a select few manufacturers that developed an all new electric powertrain for the series.
The racing car can accelerate from 0 to 100 km in under 3 seconds. The company’s electric vehicle line-up includes small car e20 and sedan Verito Electric, besides passenger vehicle Maxximo Electric.