The next season of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship kicks off in December 2018, and is already shaping up to be exceptional. Featuring new cars, a new race format, new cities, new power modes, new teams, and new drivers, season five promises to ramp up the wow factor. Twenty-two Gen2 electric cars and drivers will speed through 12 countries and some of the world’s most iconic cities, beginning in host city Ad Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, stopping over in Berlin, and finishing with a flourishing double-header in New York City. For the third consecutive year, Harman Kardon will be along for the ride as HARMAN and BMW join forces for another electrifying season.
The world’s first fully-electric international single-seater street racing series, the ABB FIA Formula E Championship is an open-wheel electric street racing series recognized by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) as the highest class of competition for electrically powered vehicles. This season, 22 drivers representing 11 teams will compete in 13 ePrix over the course of seven months. Each season showcases the latest innovations in electric vehicle technology and alternative energy solutions, with the ultimate goal of fighting climate change by offering electric vehicles as a solution to air pollution in city centers and breaking down the barriers to the electric vehicle market. Gearing up to be the most exhilarating edition yet, season five is expected to represent a huge step forward in cementing Formula E’s place in the motor sports world.
As a champion of sustainable innovation and environmentally friendly design, HARMAN will renew its support of Formula E through Harman Kardon’s partnership with BMW to sponsor the BMW i Andretti Motorsport team for the third year in a row. Founded by racing legend Michael Andretti, Andretti Autosport is one of the founding members in the all-electric racing series and has competed in every race in the series since 2014. With team principal Roger Griffiths (GBR) at the helm, BMW i Andretti Motorsport will pilot the all-new BMW iFE.18, whose drivetrain was built in close cooperation between BMW i and BMW Motorsport and whose design was inspired by the urban context of Formula E.
“We are very excited about our collaboration with BMW i Andretti Motorsport, as a platform to showcase the values we share with BMW, such as innovation, efficiency, sustainability, and last not least, the thrill of the ride. The longstanding partnership between BMW i and Harman Kardon is a perfect example of HARMAN’s ability to marry environmentally friendly design with inspiring sound to promote forward-thinking mobility”, said Mathias Brand, Sr. Director, Global Marketing European Customers for Automotive Audio at HARMAN International.
Bringing electric mobility back to the center stage through the start of Formula E season 5 could not have come at a more suitable time, as the whole industry is anticipating new regulations coming into force throughout 2019 that particularly concern the sound of EVs.
With the introduction of the first hybrid and electric vehicles about nine years ago, automakers turned toward a greener future. The rise of fully electric and hybrid vehicles, which are changing the acoustic experience both in and around the car, presents a certain sound-related challenge. The silence of the electric powertrain means that pedestrians, bicyclists and other road users miss familiar acoustic cues warning them of an approaching vehicle. With the so-called AVAS (Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System) regulations coming into force worldwide, automakers are required to ensure a certain minimum level of audible “noise” emitted by the electric car at certain speeds.
As a leader in audio and sound management solutions for the car, HARMAN helps its customers not only to fulfill AVAS regulations but also allows them to give their EVs and hybrids a “voice” that is unique to their brand or model and corresponds to the brand DNA, thus promising recognition (learn more about it here).
“HARMAN is committed to the future of mobility and to the development of sustainable technologies,” said Michael Mauser, President, Lifestyle Audio Division at HARMAN International. “The ABB FIA Formula E Championship is not only a racing series with truly electrifying events and a platform for sustainable mobility, but also has great potential to showcase the role of sound for electric vehicles as they move into the mainstream., HARMAN will play a leading role in creating the specific sounds for electric vehicles, and in driving the sound of the future.”
For more details, explore the racing calendar on the Formula E website.