Nissan believes road EV knowledge will help Formula E campaign

Nissan believes its prior experience with electric vehicles for the road will help in the early stages of its Formula E campaign.

It was announced in October last year that Nissan would be taking over from Renault as the manufacturer partner for the thrice teams’ champions e.dams squad.

As makers of the Leaf, Nissan has the best-selling EV on the road, which is something it believes has helped it to understand battery and energy management, two unique aspects of Formula E racing, better ahead of its 2018/19 season debut.

“We’re racing these cars on the same city streets that people are driving our EV vehicles. That’s where Nissan is taking a bit of an advantage of the history that we have,” said Nissan’s Global Motorsport Director Michael Carcamo.

“Over 2.5 billion miles have been driven by our EV customers and all that data is really useful. We’re learning about energy management and battery management systems, because those vehicles are used in all kinds of environments around the world and that produces results that you can’t always estimate.

“That’s where we’re using preparation and our experience to launch our cars.”

Carcamo added that its status as an EV leader in road cars inspired the decision to join Formula E:

“We want to give back a little to the people who support us and really invested a lot into the EV and mobility space, and we think that having a symbol that they can rally behind is a great way for us to promote, not just EV and mobility, but our team.

“That’s one of our most important points, it’s not just about the racing, but it’s about the EV and mobility space.”

Nissan will be making its debut in the series alongside the Gen2 car, which will be capable of completing full race distances, with drivers Sebastien Buemi and Alexander Albon.

Carcamo estimated that during its private testing programme so far Nissan has been on par with the likes of DS and Audi, who have reportedly been completing race distances.

“Our approach I would say is a very pragmatic and conservative one to make sure that we work through steps within the powertrain design so that you are eliminating some of the early risks, then once the first level of risk is completed you can move on to your second,” Carcamo told Formula Spy.

“I would say we’re in a very similar place [to DS and Audi]. With a couple of days of running you can do a lot of mileage on these vehicles.

“It’s also important for us to remember that the chassis and the battery are new, so it’s not just our powertrain, we’re doing a shakedown of the entire vehicle, and we’ve been pretty impressed with the overall reliability of the whole package. It’s been quite strong, so it’s a good first step.”

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Chris Stevens

Chris is a member of the Autosport Academy and has been writing about motorsport professionally since 2015. He has been one of the top Formula E journalists since he went to Donington Park for pre-season testing a week after picking up his A-Level results.

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