Formula E is in town this weekend; Renault e.dams and its Z.E. 15 aims for pole position in Putrajaya


If you haven’t heard, the Formula E spectacle makes its second stop here in Putrajaya this weekend, as part of the 2015/16 Formula E World championship. The all-electric auto racing series is currently in its second season after a successful run during its inaugural 2014/15 season, where the Renault e.dams team dominated the constructors’ standings.

Round one of this year’s Championship saw e.dams clinch a victory in Beijing, and the French team looks to emulate the same result here in Putrajaya. If you aren’t up to speed on the inner workings of Formula E, don’t worry. Courtesy of TC Euro Cars, was invited to pay a visit to the Renault e.dams Formula E race team garage, where we were briefed at length on the sports, as well as the vehicles and technologies that go into them. We’re bringing them to you here.

Before all that, here’s some info about the team. Founded by two of the biggest names in European motorsports – Alain Prost (Formula One legend) and Jean Paul Driot (founder of the Driot Associés Motor Sport team) – the Renault e.dams team is fully backed by the French manufacturer. Renault had a part in designing the 2014/15 Formula E car that was used by all the teams in the first season of Formula E, dubbed the Spark-Renault SRT_01E.

The team has two drivers – Sebastian Buemi and Nicolas Prost, each assigned two cars for the mandatory car changes during the race. An interesting twist in Formula E is a social engagement with the fans known as Fan Boost. Fans are able to vote for their favourite drivers through the race series’ official webpage or social media channels, and the top three most popular drivers will get an extra 100 kJ in one of their cars, useful when you need to drive a little quicker (drains the battery faster).

For season two, Formula E underwent regulatory changes that allowed manufacturers to develop their own vehicles’ powertrains – incorporating the e-motor, inverter, and transmission. As of current, eight manufacturers have been given the green light to build their powertrains – NEXTEV, Citroen, Venturi, Renault, Motomatica, Abt Sportsline, Mahindra, and McLaren.

However, all the teams, including e.dams, are required to comply with certain rules when building their cars. Firstly, the Spark-Renault SRT_01E chassis underpins all the teams’ race cars and the overall package (powertrain and driver included), must weigh a minimum of 888 kg. Contributing to the weight figure is a 360 kg battery pack that is supplied exclusively by Williams Advanced Engineering, which now has a maximum power output of 170 kW during the race (up from 150 kW).

Said battery pack is adjusted to output 200 kW during qualifying. The cars themselves ride on bespoke 18-inch treaded Michelin tyres that work in both dry and wet conditions, so no tyre changes happen in Formula E. You may be wondering why there are so many standardisation measures put in place, which can be answered with two points. Firstly, adopting the same chassis and battery pack places less financial burden on the teams to develop them.

Second, as most of the teams’ development work is centralised around the powertrain, this forces them to squeeze out the best combination of performance and efficiency from it. This continuous innovation in electric powertrain technology not only benefits the team in terms of racing, but might also be important information and knowledge that can be applied to road cars in the future.


The powertrain fitted on Renault e.dams Formula E racer is known as the Z.E. 15, consisting of a single electric motor connected to a gearbox . It is capable of accelerating the car from a standstill to 100 km/h in four seconds flat, with a top speed of 215 km/h. Due to confidentiality concerns, no photographs of the Z.E. 15’s rear were allowed to be taken, hence the shots of the car are from the front only.

Other parts of the Renault electric racer are two cooling systems – one for the battery and the other for the electric motor. According to the team’s project manager, Vincent Gaillardot, the fixed amount of energy available means simulations are required to be performed in order to gauge the car’s consumption, and the proper adjustments that needs to be done to its aerodynamics and energy management.

The 2015 FIA Formula E Putrajaya ePrix takes place this Saturday, and if you’re looking to catch the Renault e.dams team in action, general admission is free. However, grandstand seating is available with prices starting at RM160. For more details, you can refer to the official Putrajaya ePrix webpage.

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Gerard Lye

Originating from the corporate world with a background in finance and economics, Gerard’s strong love for cars led him to take the plunge into the automotive media industry. It was only then did he realise that there are more things to a car than just horsepower count.



  • albag on Nov 06, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    wow this race is so quiet I didn’t even know it’s happening this week in Malaysia

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1
  • Head Hunter on Nov 07, 2015 at 4:38 am

    Ditch the F1 cum LMP bodywork for a distinctive supercar like design to be relevant. I don’t think at such low speeds aero could benefit these cars. Let them slide a little more. The wheels are too big and looks ugly on this formula. And what about that fan boost? It’s silly as F!! And also besides creating congestion in city centres, they should run in normal tracks to save cost and support the local racing venues. I think it worked in some countries but it is rather silly having world class venues and not racing them there. Heck, they say about reducing carbon footprint when in Malaysia Sepang Circuit is close to the airport, yet they chose Putrajaya which is further to hold a race. WTF?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4
  • And what happens in a pitstop? Yeah… that IS a good advertisement for electric/battery power… NOT. The future is hybrid, NOT electric. This shite is ok in karts for a stag weekend, but serious racing – yawn, zzzzzzzz

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

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