In just a few short weeks, the the first race of the inaugural Formula E series kicks off in Beijing. Leading the pack of electric race cars will be a pair of special BMW i8 hybrids equipped with Qualcomm’s Halo wireless charging technology, a rolling showcase of the future of EV technology.
They will be joined by an additional pair of BMW i3 EVs, also equipped with wireless inductive charging technology, serving as safety cars (or pace cars as they’re also known) for the Formula E series. The i8 safety cars will also feature a full roll cage, racing seats, fire extinguishers, and on-board radio equipment to keep in touch with home base. While only one of the i8s has been outfitted with wireless charging so far, another one is in the process of being converted, so that while one car is out pacing the track, the other can be recharging.
While for now Formula E racers themselves will swap cars instead of wirelessly recharging them, perhaps one day soon plug-in cars won’t need to be plugged in at all. While the Formula E safety fleet, as it’s being called, still needs FIA approval, it represents a major leap forward in the greening of major motorsports. While NASCAR was among the first racing series to have a hybrid pace car, Formula E goes above and beyond with the BMW i8 and its all-electric race cars.
The first race of the Formula E is scheduled for September 13th, where the BMW i8 safety car will make its wireless debut.
Source: Electric Autosport