Jaguar has announced it will enter Formula E in its third season to help develop EV technology. The company’s return to racing coincides with Jaguar Land Rover’s (JLR) ramped up plans to electrify its range.
With a long history of developing road car technology through motorsport, Jaguar’s return would be an encouraging sign even if it hadn’t specifically stated that it aims to improve its electric powertrain technology. JLR will develop its battery and electric motor systems in the championship, with factory engineers working alongside the racing team.
Jaguar will work with Williams Advanced Engineering to get its cars up to speed. Williams has extensive experience in developing electric units for racing and road cars, with its own Williams Formula One team, along with other Formula One, Le Mans and Formula E teams using Williams parts.
It’s not just the powertrain that is being developed by those in Formula E, but charing methods too. There are plans to have drivers use only one car per race by season five, rather than the two they currently use, changing over halfway. This will in turn advance charging technology including speed of charging, connection, wireless charging and the impact that systems have on the cars themselves.
With Jaguar’s new electric focus, the company is looking to gain ground on rivals including BMW, Audi and Mercedes who all have plug-in models in their line-ups. With the help of competition developed systems, Jaguar may well leapfrog these German giants in bringing a pure-EV to market before them, while plug-in models are sure to make an appearance in the JLR model fleet in the next couple of years.