Formula E is preparing its second generation of electric race cars for the 2019 season, so owners of the first cars on the Formula E grid are putting them up for sale.
The race cars are expected to go anywhere between $200,000 and $289,000, according to Bloomberg. Some of these cars raced in all four seasons. Formula E paid a total of 16 million Euros ($18.4 million) for all 40 of the cars. That means each car cost roughly $460,000 when new, and has knocked down to half its price currently. These cars were then leased to the racing teams participating in Formula E, some of which are interested in purchasing them back. Formula E is not marketing the sale but rather going about it discreetly, using word of mouth to spread the news.
Every car going up for sale has an identical chassis and battery. This should mean that how much a car can rake in during the sale or auction will rely on its racing pedigree, i.e. lap records, victories, sentiments, and other factors. Until the previous season, drivers had to swap cars due to the lack of sufficiently advanced battery technology. There was, of course, no time to wait and charge up the cars, which is why 40 cars were bought in the first place. McLaren Applied Technologies is supplying the batteries for the second generation Formula E cars which are good for a 45-minute timed race on a single full charge.
Spark Racing Technology won the first contract to build chasses for both first and second generation race cars on the grid. Theophile Gouzin, CEO of Spark Racing said,”Today, the competition is on the powertrains, the motor controller, and the gearbox.” The batteries were the major reason behind selling off the old formula cars. Now that the new McLaren batteries are proving themselves up to the job, teams will focus on other elements of the car to extract even more speed and range out of them. Gouzin also said that focusing on efficiency and increasing mileage through racing is how the participating automakers and partners intend to take the fight to Tesla in the EV space.
Season Five of the Formula E world championship will flag off in December with all 22 new cars lining up on the grid of Ad Diriyah in Saudi Arabia.