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  • Audi and BWM out

    Audi and BWM will leave Formula e after the 20201 season.

    Audi will compete in the Dakar.

  • #2
    The BMW press release may very well be the most disingenuous thing I've ever read. They've reached the limit of technology transfer? In a class that's constantly opening things up for more development? Only way that statement makes any sense is if the limit they've reached is within BMW itself, but they imply it's something with the series.

    IMO, they just don't want to admit they believe they'll be left behind come Gen 3. (at least I hope that's the case, because other possibilities BMW could be trying to cover up with that statement could imply some very problematic issues in the company)

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    • #3
      Surprised Buick was in FE.
      No signature required

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      • #4
        Originally posted by FormulaFox View Post
        The BMW press release may very well be the most disingenuous thing I've ever read. They've reached the limit of technology transfer? In a class that's constantly opening things up for more development? Only way that statement makes any sense is if the limit they've reached is within BMW itself, but they imply it's something with the series.

        IMO, they just don't want to admit they believe they'll be left behind come Gen 3. (at least I hope that's the case, because other possibilities BMW could be trying to cover up with that statement could imply some very problematic issues in the company)
        I completely believe that they've reached the limit of technology transfer, simply because the rules are restrictive and there's nothing you can learn in Formula E that you can't learn in your technology center, while dedicating more of the spend on the actual research.

        And I don't think that electrification has changed the basic truth that motorsports is mainly a marketing exercise for the OEMs, and that here are more cost effective ways to market your electric vehicles than a restrictive racing championship.
        “America is all about speed. Hot, nasty, badass speed.” - Eleanor Roosevelt

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        • #5
          The problem for Formula E is that the most well known electric car company Tesla isn't in Formula E and probably has shown no interest in participating. Without Tesla and its fanbase Formula E will never get to that next level of interest.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Sweaty Teddy View Post

            I completely believe that they've reached the limit of technology transfer, simply because the rules are restrictive and there's nothing you can learn in Formula E that you can't learn in your technology center, while dedicating more of the spend on the actual research.
            To be blunt, that's a load of garbage. FE's present rules aren't very restrictive at all. The only real restrictions that are in place is the amount of power they have available, which is a restriction all electric cars will have to deal with since there's only so much power you can reasonably give them with current battery technology. The more effectively an electric powertrain can use the available power, the better, and FE is a perfect place to develop such.

            There's nothing stopping a company from spending more on the development within FE and using it as a testbed for what's developed within the company.

            BMW is hiding something.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by LAindycarfan80 View Post
              The problem for Formula E is that the most well known electric car company Tesla isn't in Formula E and probably has shown no interest in participating. Without Tesla and its fanbase Formula E will never get to that next level of interest.
              Tesla's fans won't care about motorsports. They consider it beneath them.

              Formula E has done nothing but grow it's attendance and viewership(until COVID came along, at least) without Tesla.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by FormulaFox View Post

                To be blunt, that's a load of garbage. FE's present rules aren't very restrictive at all. The only real restrictions that are in place is the amount of power they have available, which is a restriction all electric cars will have to deal with since there's only so much power you can reasonably give them with current battery technology. The more effectively an electric powertrain can use the available power, the better, and FE is a perfect place to develop such.
                Formula E is more a marketing exercise than an engineering exercise. Any of these things can be tested and developed much more cost-effectively in house as opposed to at a race track, and racing doesn't represent the "real world" conditions OEMs want to develop in.

                There's nothing stopping a company from spending more on the development within FE and using it as a testbed for what's developed within the company.

                BMW is hiding something.
                Electrification is expensive and by many reports BMW isn't doing so well financially right now. They've pulled back on their IMSA participation, and they just cut ties with long-time motorsports partner AC Schnitzer.
                “America is all about speed. Hot, nasty, badass speed.” - Eleanor Roosevelt

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by FormulaFox View Post

                  Tesla's fans won't care about motorsports. They consider it beneath them.

                  Formula E has done nothing but grow it's attendance and viewership(until COVID came along, at least) without Tesla.
                  Formula E needs Tesla more than Tesla needs Formula E. Tesla is THE electric car company when people think of electrification. None of the current companies other than NIO participating in Formula E only make electric vehicles. Lets not forget that the biggest prize in a racing series is building a rabid following and Formula E has not shown than in their entire existence.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sweaty Teddy View Post

                    I completely believe that they've reached the limit of technology transfer, simply because the rules are restrictive and there's nothing you can learn in Formula E that you can't learn in your technology center, while dedicating more of the spend on the actual research.

                    And I don't think that electrification has changed the basic truth that motorsports is mainly a marketing exercise for the OEMs, and that here are more cost effective ways to market your electric vehicles than a restrictive racing championship.
                    Yep, Formula E's rules are set so the teams participating can develop their powertrain. But the problem for Formula E is that the big electric vehicle makers like Tesla would rather develop those technologies in house considering its more relevant to what they put on the road than some psuedo formula vehicle with artificial limits.

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                    • #11
                      [QUOTE=Sweaty Teddy;n6718411]Formula E is more a marketing exercise than an engineering exercise./[quote]

                      This is a rare case where it is equally both. The benefits of FE in the engineering side is that it shows how your powertrain compares to your competitors' without differing vehicle designs muddying up the data.

                      Any of these things can be tested and developed much more cost-effectively in house as opposed to at a race track, and racing doesn't represent the "real world" conditions OEMs want to develop in.
                      Electrification technology is going to cost just as much to develop in-house as it will in FE - it's not like the technology somehow changes itno something completely different when you put it in a road car, after all.

                      Electrification is expensive and by many reports BMW isn't doing so well financially right now. They've pulled back on their IMSA participation, and they just cut ties with long-time motorsports partner AC Schnitzer.
                      Exactly my point - they lay the blame at the series, but if you look at things from ANY wider perspective it quickly becomes clear that there's something else that's at issue - and while I can suppose MANY things, the most likely is that BMW just needs to cut some costs. (for the record, BMW isn't in as bad a state as some places have reported, but they're absolutely NOT making the kind of money that would enable them do anything they want at this time)

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by FormulaFox View Post
                        This is a rare case where it is equally both. The benefits of FE in the engineering side is that it shows how your powertrain compares to your competitors' without differing vehicle designs muddying up the data.
                        If that is what you want to believe.

                        Electrification technology is going to cost just as much to develop in-house as it will in FE - it's not like the technology somehow changes itno something completely different when you put it in a road car, after all.
                        This is patently false. The money you're not spending on chassis, spare, hospitality, travel, and all the other costs of supporting a team in an international racing championship can either be pumped into development, or simply not spent.

                        Exactly my point - they lay the blame at the series, but if you look at things from ANY wider perspective it quickly becomes clear that there's something else that's at issue - and while I can suppose MANY things, the most likely is that BMW just needs to cut some costs. (for the record, BMW isn't in as bad a state as some places have reported, but they're absolutely NOT making the kind of money that would enable them do anything they want at this time)
                        AFAIK, BMW and Audi are exiting for similar reasons; lack of ROI. Partially because the target audience of FE isn't buying cars NOW, and partially there are more cost effective ways to develop their electric solutions.

                        “America is all about speed. Hot, nasty, badass speed.” - Eleanor Roosevelt

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Sweaty Teddy View Post
                          This is patently false. The money you're not spending on chassis, spare, hospitality, travel, and all the other costs of supporting a team in an international racing championship can either be pumped into development, or simply not spent.
                          Wrong. That money will now be required to develop a custom chassis to test your equipment, track time to run it the equipment, and the personnel associated with such. The chassis development in particular will suck up most of the money saved from departing a field like FE, where the chassis development was out of their hands and they merely paid a comparatively small amount to buy them, and will in the end come out to approximately the same.

                          Keep in mind that we're not talking F1 levels of spending here - Formula E is INCREDIBLY cheap relative to the amount of development possible within it. This is why it attracted so many manufacturers to begin with; It's an absolute bargain of a place to develop something that is extremely important to their futures.

                          AFAIK, BMW and Audi are exiting for similar reasons; lack of ROI.
                          Audi is leaving because Volkswagen is restructuring their motorsports programs as announced a few months back, nothing more, nothing less. Audi has been given the task of being the flagbearer for VW in prototype racing again.

                          You need to keep in mind that while Audi is leaving FE, VW has not yet left completely, as the Porsche program is likely to continue. People seem to forget that Porsche is actually in FE, and VW appears not to want competition between their brands outside of GT3.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by FormulaFox View Post

                            Wrong. That money will now be required to develop a custom chassis to test your equipment, track time to run it the equipment, and the personnel associated with such. The chassis development in particular will suck up most of the money saved from departing a field like FE, where the chassis development was out of their hands and they merely paid a comparatively small amount to buy them, and will in the end come out to approximately the same.

                            Keep in mind that we're not talking F1 levels of spending here - Formula E is INCREDIBLY cheap relative to the amount of development possible within it. This is why it attracted so many manufacturers to begin with; It's an absolute bargain of a place to develop something that is extremely important to their futures.
                            You're assuming the alternative to racing in Formula E is racing somewhere else. Where else are Audi and BMW going to race electric cars? They aren't. They're eliminating the programs and their budgets entirely.

                            Audi is leaving because Volkswagen is restructuring their motorsports programs as announced a few months back, nothing more, nothing less. Audi has been given the task of being the flagbearer for VW in prototype racing again.

                            You need to keep in mind that while Audi is leaving FE, VW has not yet left completely, as the Porsche program is likely to continue. People seem to forget that Porsche is actually in FE, and VW appears not to want competition between their brands outside of GT3.
                            While VAG owns Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche, each brand has its own budget and own motorsports programs, with little to no crossover.

                            The announcement earlier this year was that Volkswagen would cease all internal combustion motorsports activities. The cessation of all motorsports activities - including the electric plans Volkswagen had and their existing I.D. R prototype plan was unexpected, as was the reallocation of Audi's motorsports budget from FE to IMSA/WEC. Porsche announced that they are staying in FE for now, but they've reduced budget elsewhere by eliminating their international GTLM programs.
                            “America is all about speed. Hot, nasty, badass speed.” - Eleanor Roosevelt

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sweaty Teddy View Post

                              You're assuming the alternative to racing in Formula E is racing somewhere else. Where else are Audi and BMW going to race electric cars? They aren't.
                              ....No. That's not what I'm assuming at all.

                              You can't just snap your fingers and develop this technology without a machine to put on pavement and test it with. They WILL have to build a car to test it with. That takes money. They WILL have to take the car somewhere to test. That takes money. They WILL have to pay people to handle those tests. It doesn't matter that they're not going racing, they still have to do these things to develop the technology because no matter how much effort you put into laboratory testing, it's NOT the real world.

                              They're eliminating the programs and their budgets entirely.
                              They are not eliminating their electric car programs. The money spent on FE is still going to be required to develop those programs.

                              While VAG owns Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche, each brand has its own budget and own motorsports programs, with little to no crossover.
                              But they're still controlled by VAG. VAG decides how they get to use their budgets. That's what is happening with this rearrangement of motorsports programs.

                              The announcement earlier this year was that Volkswagen would cease all internal combustion motorsports activities. The cessation of all motorsports activities - including the electric plans Volkswagen had and their existing I.D. R prototype plan was unexpected, as was the reallocation of Audi's motorsports budget from FE to IMSA/WEC. Porsche announced that they are staying in FE for now, but they've reduced budget elsewhere by eliminating their international GTLM programs.
                              You're not exactly refuting my point on this. While these changes were indeed unexpected, VW had announced months before that changes were coming. But we had no way of knowing what those changes would be, so ALL of the changes are unexpected no matter what they may be.

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