Switzerland’s Sebastien Buemi Makes History in Formula E Racing

Switzerland's Sebastien Buemi Makes History in Formula E Racing


Switzerland’s Sebastien Buemi has made history in Formula E racing recently, when he became the first driver to win three Formula E rounds in row ever.


As the reigning champion and former Formula One driver, Buemi has now won all three races this season for the Renault e. dams team at Buenos Aires following Hong Kong and Morocco.


Buemi’s began his career in Formula E racing with the inaugural Formula E season for e. dams alongside Frenchman Nicolas Prost. Currently Buemi is the most successful driver in the series’ history having claimed more wins, poles, fastest laps and points than any other driver in the series.


Formula E Racing

Formula E is a class of auto racing that uses only electric-powered cars. This series started with its inaugural championship started in Beijing on September 13, 2014 and is sanctioned by the FIA.


The current Formula E championship is contested by ten teams of two drivers each. The race usually takes place on a temporary city-center street circuits which are approximately 2 to 3.4 km (1.2 to 2.1 mi.) long.


Currently, only the Mexico City ePrix takes place on a road course, a modified version of the Autódromo Hermanos Rodriguez.


Race Day

The race lasts for about 50 minutes with the drivers making one mandatory pit stop to change cars. Changing tires during the race is not permitted, unless a change is necessary due to a puncture or some other detrimental damage to the tire. During a race, the maximum power is restricted to 170 kW. Points are awarded using the standard FIA system.



Fans are able to vote for their favorite driver, for every race, using various social media networks. Voting begins two weeks before a race and is open for voting up through the first six minutes of the race.


The three winning drivers each receive an extra 100 kJ of energy to be used in a power window between 180 kW and 200 kW.


Scoring Points

Points are awarded to the top ten drivers using the standard FIA system. Three points are also awarded to the driver who has the pole position. The driver who holds the fastest lap receives an additional point (two points during the first two seasons).


The championship consists of both a driver’s and teams’ championship. A driver’s end of season total is made up of their best results. A team’s total is made up by counting the drivers’ scores throughout the season.


With this past weekend’s win, Buemi leads the standings by 29 points from Brazilian Lucas Di Grassi with the next race to be held in Mexico City on April 1st.


Renault e.dams have now won half of all the Formula E races that have taken place. Jean – Eric Vergne, from France, was second in Saturday’s race for the Chinese Techeetah team with Di Grassi, who started on pole position, third for Team Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport.



This past weekend, Buenos Aires also got to see the first demonstration run of two driverless ‘Roborace’ development, or ‘DevBot’, electric cars running on the same track together at speeds reaching 185 kph.


The cars used sensors and on-board systems to navigate the street circuit while communicating with each other to avoid contact. However, one of the cars still managed to crash into the barriers.


An additional hazard was posed by a stray dog who found himself wandering onto the race track.


In a statement, Denis Sverdlov, Roborace’s Chief Executive said “This is a historic moment for Roborace and for the future of autonomous vehicle development,”


“Seeing these cars interacting at speed on a race track shows how fast the technology is progressing and how important a platform Roborace is for further development.


“It is so exciting to see these vehicles functioning without any human intervention, making their own decisions and taking appropriate actions in order to guide themselves around the track.”


Ultimately, Formula E organisers hope to have up to 10 driverless cars racing together. The goal is to have the teams write their own software, around city tracks as a support event to their series.


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The Nissan IDS Concept Car – The Future of the Automobile



The Nissan IDS (Intelligent Driving System) concept car is drawing a lot of attention, which is understandable when you when you see it. First unrivaled at the 2015 Tokyo Auto Show, the vehicle is autonomous, which Nissan calls Piloted Drive and electric.


The auto maker plans to roll out the concept car in two phases. The first phase will be the Pilot Drive 1.0 which will be offered to the Japanese market beginning this year, before the car is sold to China, Europe and the United States.


The Piloted Drive 2.0 will include the ability to handle highway speeds and multiple lane roads. This will include the ability to merge into traffic and change lanes. The company said, in a statement, that the IDS system will be available on multiple models worldwide by 2020.




The state-of-the-art interior includes four individual seats that turn toward the center to make conversation easier. The steering wheel folds up, and a large touch screen appears on the dash. With soft lighting, the cabin resembles relaxing in your living room.


The driver is offered various driving options due to AI (Artificial Intelligence), voice and body gestures, all adding to, not only the driving experience, but also the overall safety of the vehicle.


When the driver chooses to manually drive the vehicle, there is no doubt in their mind that they are in complete control. The steering wheel was designed to give the driver the feeling they are holding the reins of a horse.


The interior lighting also switches to blue, designed to stimulate the driver’s ability to concentrate on the task of driving.




The stylish suicide doors, without pillars, immediately bring back images of 1960’s era Lincolns, the exterior of the Nissan IDS is just as futuristic as the interior. For enjoying the trip, the roof is almost entirely glass and rests on a carbon fiber body.


The Nissan IDS offers a long wheel base, enabling a smooth luxurious ride that you would more expect from a gasoline powered luxury car rather than an autonomous electric vehicle. The long wheelbase also offers the driver, if they choose to drive the vehicle, the ability to hug the road and perform like a fine tooled expensive sports car.


The Nissan’s hollow-structure A-pillars help to ensure superb visibility in all directions, reducing blind spots and also contributing to the feeling of a wide open space.



Power Plant

Containing a 60 kWh battery, with a light carbon fiber body and clean aerodynamic design, the concept car is expected to meet and exceed the need for traveling long distances, boasting a pretty astounding 340 miles per charge.


Many are saying that the Nissan IDS concept car is not only the vehicle of the future, but what all cars, present day and in the future should offer the driver. Setting aside the fact that the vehicle is autonomous and electric Nissan’s new concept car offers a ride that brings to mind fine made automobiles.


However, one of the most impressive features of the new concept car is its ability to improve the driving experience by improving the driver’s ability to see, think and react to all driving conditions.


Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. I sincerely hope that my blog entertains, helps and gets you thinking. Please take a minute to leave a comment to start and interesting conversation, or add your interesting thoughts to an existing conversation.

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Car Powered by its Body Panels

Body Panel Powered Car


Researchers have developed lightweight supercapacitors that, when combined with regular batteries, dramatically boost the power of an electric car.


The supercapacitors, a “sandwich” of electrolyte between two all-carbon electrodes, were made into a thin and extremely strong film with a high power density.


The film can be embedded in a car’s body panels, roof, doors, hood and floor. It will store enough energy to quick charge an electric car’s battery in just a few minutes.


The findings, published in the Journal of Power Sources and the Nanotechnology journal, mean a car powered by its own body panels can be a reality within five years, Mr. Notarianni, PhD researcher Marco Notarianni, from QUT’s Science and Engineering Faculty said.


“Vehicles need an extra energy spurt for acceleration, and this is where supercapacitors come in. They hold a limited amount of charge, but they are able to deliver it very quickly, making them the perfect complement to mass-storage batteries,” he said.

“Supercapacitors offer a high power output in a short time, meaning a faster acceleration rate of the car and a charging time of just a few minutes, compared to several hours for a standard electric car battery.”


Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr Jinzhang Liu said currently the “energy density” of a supercapacitor is lower than a standard lithium ion (Li-Ion) battery, but its “high power density,” or ability to release power in a short time, is “far beyond” a conventional battery.


“Supercapacitors are presently combined with standard Li-Ion batteries to power electric cars, with a substantial weight reduction and increase in performance,” he said.


“In the future, it is hoped the supercapacitor will be developed to store more energy than a Li-Ion battery while retaining the ability to release its energy up to 10 times faster — meaning the car could be entirely powered by the supercapacitors in its body panels.


“After one full charge this car should be able to run up to 500km — similar to a petrol-powered car and more than double the current limit of an electric car.”


The technology would also potentially be used for rapid charges of other battery-powered devices, Dr. Liu said.


“For example, by putting the film on the back of a smart phone to charge it extremely quickly,” he said.

The discovery may be a game-changer for the automotive industry, with significant impacts on financial, as well as environmental, factors.


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Researchers Develop Technology to Estimate Range of Electric Vehicles

Electric Car


North Carolina State University researchers have developed new software that estimates how much farther an electric vehicle can drive before needing to recharge.


The new technology requires drivers to enter their destination, then the software automatically compiles the data on a host of variables to predict the energy use for the vehicle.


Electric cars already have range-estimation software, but we believe our approach is more accurate,” says Dr. Habiballah Rahimi-Eichi, a postdoctoral researcher at NC State and lead author of a paper on the work.


“Existing technologies estimate remaining range based on average energy consumption of the past 5 miles, 15 miles, etc.,” Rahimi-Eichi says. “By plugging in the destination, our software looks at traffic data, whether you’ll be on the highway or in the city, weather, road grade and other variables. This predictive, big-data approach is a significant step forward, reducing the range estimation error to a couple of miles. In some case studies, we were able to get 95 percent range estimation accuracy.”


The software takes all of the data related to the route between starting point and destination and uses big data techniques to determine which pieces of information are important and extract key features that can be plugged into an algorithm to estimate how far the vehicle can go before recharging.


However, two other important variables are also plugged into the algorithm:  the performance characteristics of the vehicle and its battery; and the amount of charge remaining in the battery. The state of charge is estimated using a patented technique developed by Rahimi-Eichi and Dr. Mo-Yuen Chow in 2012. Chow is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at NC State and a co-author of the paper.


“People have a lot of ‘range anxiety’ in regard to electric vehicles, they’re afraid they’ll get stuck on the side of the road,” Chow says. “Hopefully, our new range estimation software will make people more confident about using electric vehicles.”

The paper, “Big-Data Framework for Electric Vehicle Range Estimation,” will be presented at the 40th Annual Conference of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society, being held Oct. 29 to Nov. 1 in Dallas, Texas.


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