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FIA Unveils Guidelines for ESV Beginner-Level Electric Racing Platform

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FIA Electric Sport Vehicle (ESV) rules

The FIA disclosed the initial technical guidelines for a fresh electric racing category on Friday.

Termed as Electric Sport Vehicle (ESV), the new category marks FIA’s first approval for electric race cars evolved from street-legal cars. The ESV is designed to act as a beginner-level category for electric racing at local and regional stages and also provide manufacturers with the opportunity to produce ready-to-race electric cars, as reported in a press statement by the FIA.

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Drawing inspiration from the Group N division for internal-combustion vehicles, ESV will only accept minimal alterations from street-legal production models. The class is open to “grand touring cars and four-door, coupe-style sports sedans,” maintaining a maximum chassis height restriction of 57.4 inches. This regulation would rule out numerous electric crossovers currently in the market. For instance, a regular U.S.-spec Hyundai Ioniq 5 has a height of 63.0 inches.

FIA Electric Sport Vehicle Classification

In this class based on production models, manufacturers are obliged to construct a specific count of street cars to qualify EV models for the ESV. Initially, the criteria would be to produce 300 units within the first two-year span from approval.

The ESV class allows for rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive vehicles, with a bottom limit power output of 410 hp. The body design must be predominantly unaltered, although the regulations permit for fender extensions to house wider tires and extra cooling vents. Certain parts such as doors, rear hatches, spoilers, and diffusers can be substituted with lighter variants, provided they retain the original form.

To ensure fair competition, the FIA will implement its Performance Factor strategy from hill-climb racing, which generates a value grounded on aspects like weight, power, and aerodynamic performance. Teams are also permitted to monitor real-time energy consumption through in-vehicle data recorders.

FIA Electric Sport Vehicle Classification

While the FIA has previously endorsed the Formula E single-seater series and an electric rallycross division, this signifies the institution’s initial devoted initiative to support a production-based electric racing class for asphalt circuits.

The FIA earlier provided backing to the Electric GT series, intending to employ modified Tesla Model S race cars (with no noticeable support from Tesla). It also declared an electric division in 2021, vowing performance equivalent to present GT3 cars, however, these endeavors did not come to fruition.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about FIA Electric Sport Vehicle (ESV) rules

What is the Electric Sport Vehicle (ESV) class?

The Electric Sport Vehicle (ESV) class is a new electric racing category sanctioned by the FIA. This class is designed as an entry-level category for electric racing at local and regional levels.

What are the technical regulations for the ESV class?

The ESV class allows only minimal alterations from street-legal production models. It’s open to “grand touring cars and four-door, coupe-style sports sedans,” with a chassis-height limit of 57.4 inches. Manufacturers have to build a certain number of road cars to qualify EV models for ESV. The class allows for rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive vehicles, with a minimum power output of 410 hp.

How does the FIA ensure fair competition in the ESV class?

The FIA applies its Performance Factor strategy from hill-climb racing to ensure fair competition. This strategy generates a value based on aspects like weight, power, and aerodynamic performance. Additionally, teams are allowed to monitor real-time energy consumption through in-vehicle data recorders.

What is the FIA’s previous involvement with electric racing?

The FIA has previously endorsed the Formula E single-seater series and an electric rallycross division. However, the ESV class marks the organization’s first concerted effort to support a production-based electric racing class for asphalt circuits. In the past, FIA has also backed the Electric GT series and announced an electric category in 2021, but these initiatives did not materialize.

How does ESV class influence vehicle manufacturers?

The ESV class provides manufacturers with an opportunity to produce ready-to-race electric cars. To qualify EV models for ESV, manufacturers are required to produce a specific number of street-legal cars, initially set to 300 units within the first two-year span from approval.

More about FIA Electric Sport Vehicle (ESV) rules

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5 comments

Jimmy_the_Piston June 24, 2023 - 4:15 pm

Wow, didn’t see that coming. FIA and electric racing, who woulda thought? Anyway, i’m all in for the electric future, but they gotta do something bout that chassis-height limit. Seems kinda low, no?

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CircuitLover101 June 24, 2023 - 7:07 pm

Interesting! Looks like the FIA is really pushing for electric racing. It’s about time too. The sport needs a breath of fresh air. And can you imagine the sound of electric race cars? Haha, it’s gonna be so different!

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MotorheadMike June 25, 2023 - 9:15 am

Not really into this electric stuff, but hey, if it brings new people into racing, why not. The more the merrier, I guess!

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EcoRacer22 June 25, 2023 - 11:28 am

Cool initiative from the FIA. finally they’re taking electric racing seriously! Cant wait to see how this plays out… Also, 410hp as a minimum, they ain’t playing around!

Reply
TyreBurner June 25, 2023 - 11:32 am

Nice! But seriously though, how are they gonna make sure the races are fair? The performance factor thing sounds a bit complicated to me. They better have a good plan for that.

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