McLaren Racing in Extreme E

Extreme E operates in extreme conditions, and the biggest challenge that it presents is to do with the course itself. Gade says, ‘The temperature swing at an event can be very extreme, and this presents some unique challenges. For example, if you start in a cold environment, in the morning, if you’ve got a damp surface where it’s had lots of saturation from rain, the ground can be frozen, and by midday, that can be muddy and slushy. The challenge is in that part of it rather than too much temperature management onboard. The biggest heat source comes from the battery and the drivetrain when you’re putting out the power rather than when you’re charging, and the environmental temperature delta is the bit that gives you the cooling. The hotter it is, the more difficult it is to cool the vehicle. It’s the same challenge for all the teams at this stage in the Extreme E series, and Spark has done a lot of work on the car to be sure that it will work in all temperatures. We’re confident that that won’t be an issue for us, but it does give us something that we need to manage. We need to ensure that we’re managing the car correctly, but the car can do it. There’s been some learning from Williams and Extreme E managing the battery and the temperature from the first season. There are some upgrades for this coming year to get the cooling to be more efficient and to happen much more quickly. Ahead of the first race, there will be some opportunity for some battery proof out of those new systems and new installation and for us coming into our first season, that’s valuable for us.’

Teena Gade, Performance Engineer at McLaren MX Extreme E. Credit: McLaren Racing

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