FIA Releases Technical Regs For Entry-Level Electric Racing

The FIA has released a set of technical regulations for entry-level fully electric GT and touring cars, known as “Electric Sport Vehicles”.

This new FIA ESV ruleset, which was approved by FIA World Motor Sport Council this week, is designed to allow affordable, entry-level electric racing in compliance with the FIA’s standards for high-voltage safety. The regulations cover both technology and safety, with performance management also an option depending on competition requirements.

The FIA is targeting its member clubs with this new set of regulations. It allows the same car to be used across a variety of sporting formats, including events which require cars entered with road-legal homologation.

The ability to offer modified electric vehicles ready for competition and built in conformity with recognised FIA regulations will enable the manufacturers to offer cars ready for competition “straight out of the box”.

Alongside member clubs, competition promoters and organisers, manufacturer customer racing departments and independent race teams are expected to help build this new market segment.

“The FIA ESV ruleset very much responds to the demands of the market,” said Lutz Leif Linden, FIA GT Commission President.

“Having this set of technical regulations will allow the manufacturers’ customer racing departments to offer competition-ready variants of their electric cars, which should be a considerable source of revenue of them, much like GT3 is. It can even open the door for them to create their own one-make series.

“The fact that the regulations are inclusive and accommodate four-door cars reflects the latest trends on the road car market. We already see several manufacturers having sporty four-door grand coupes in their line-ups.”

Cars that comply with this rulset are set to only need minimal adaptations from their road-going production models. The class will be open to both GT cars and four-door, coupe-shaped sports sedans, with the maximum chassis height set at 1460mm.

As per the technical regulations, the bodywork must remain fundamentally unchanged, with the exception of the possibility to extend the wheel arches to accommodate wider racing tyres and additional cooling ducts.

In order to save weight, selected bodywork panels, such as the rear hatch and doors, the rear wing and the diffuser, will be replaceable with equivalents made from lightweight materials that maintain original shape.

The class is open to both rear-wheel and four-wheel drive cars, with a minimum power output set at 300kW, which roughly translates to 410bhp.

It is also destined for cars with a minimum production volume of 300 units over the first 24-month period from the homologation of the road car, meaning prototype or low-production specials are ineligible.

To match FIA safety standards, the cars must be fitted with a safety light system, as used in other competitions for electric and hybrid-powered cars.

Given the inclusive nature of the ESV ruleset and potentially wide range of vehicles built to it, the event organisers will have the option to have the cars grouped according to their performance levels, based on the Performance Factor methodology, which is successfully used in FIA competitions such as hill climb time trials.

The Performance Factor creates a value for each car based on figures representing weight, power unit and aerodynamic performance, along with transmission and chassis parameters, allowing vastly different cars to compete against each in groups based on their performance levels.

Depending on the format of the competition, ESV will also offer the opportunity for real-time energy consumption monitoring through an FIA data logging system.

“As the governing body of world motorsport, our responsibility is also to ensure that our knowledge and expertise are available to our member clubs as well as local organisers and promoters,” added Marek Nawarecki, FIA Director of Circuit Sport.

“Therefore, having a set of technical regulations applicable to different disciplines and formats, as well as to different sporting levels, is key to fulfilling this role.

“The FIA ESV revives the spirit of Group N, where a car purchased at a dealership, fitted with all the necessary safety equipment, was essentially competition-ready and suitable for various disciplines and formats.”

Visuals courtesy of the FIA

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