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McLaren Applied Technologies
McLaren Applied Technologies Logo.png
Partner Information
Based Flag of the United Kingdom.png McLaren Technology Centre, Woking, Surrey, United Kingdom
Founder Ron Dennis; Martin O'Connor (1991)
Announced 1 November 2013[1]
Broke
Role Battery; Powertrain
Official Website MAT

McLaren Applied Technologies, often abbreviated to MAT, is a British based technology firm and subsidiary of the McLaren Automotive group of companies.[2] Originally founded in 1991 as McLaren CompositesMAT have been one of McLaren's most successful research and development businesses, with interests in motorsport, space and health among others.[2]

MAT were originally involved in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship in 2013, when their subsidiary, McLaren Electronic Systems, were commissioned to develop the powertrain for the Spark-Renault SRT_01E.[1] MES were later absorbed into MAT, with the latter continuing to develop their powertrain for Mahindra Racing, before winning the tender to supply batteries to FE from the 2018/19 season.[3]

After missing out on gaining any tenders for the Generation 3 ruleset MAT would leave FE, allowing McLaren Racing to join the series as an entrant for the 2022/23 season, the first year of competition for the Gen 3 design.

Background

MAT began their life as McLaren Composites in 1991, a project founded by Ron Dennis and Martin O'Connor to develop advanced materials for their future road car project, the McLaren F1.[2] McLaren Composites and TAG Electronics would later merge in 2004, becoming McLaren Applied Technologies as Ron Dennis restructured McLaren Automotive around their halo project: Formula One.[2] MAT took over the McLaren Group's customer research and development projects, with its own subsidiary, McLaren Electronic Systems, focusing on electronic systems.[2]

Formula E History

It would be MAT's subsidiary, McLaren Electronic Systems that was approached by the FIA and Formula E Holdings to develop a powertrain for the first ever Formula E car, being designed by Spark Racing Technologies and Dallara.[1] MES ultimately opted to make modifications to McLaren Automotive's new McLaren P1 powertrain, making the system more efficient and capable of running a relatively small formula car at 225 km/h without issue.[1] The powertrain was approved and duly fitted to the new Spark-Renault SRT_01E, and would be used by every team in the inaugural 2014/15 Championship.[1]

The Power of Batteries

MES, and later MAT, would continue to support their powertrain into the 2015/16 season, making minor upgrades to the design for Team Aguri and Andretti Formula E, who continued to use the old system.[4] They would also be commissioned to develop a system for Mahindra Racing, working with their parent company Mahindra & Mahindra to produce a new powertrain.[4] Their partnership would later come to an end in 2016, with Mahindra signing a deal with Magneti Marelli ahead of the 2016/17 season.[5]

Regardless, MAT continued to be the McLaren group's representative in Formula E, and would win a tender to supply batteries for the 2018/19 season, the start of the Generation 2 era in FE.[3] This new battery, which was to be inserted into the new Spark SRT05e, was to last for an entire E-Prix distance, meaning mid-race car swaps would thing of the past.[6] The new battery was also expected to cope with a power hike for the FE Championship, needing to be capable of producing 250 kwh of peak power.[7]

To build the new battery, MAT partnered with Lucid Motors, then named Atieva, and Sony, with the former developing the battery internals and software, while the latter would develop the energy storage cells.[8] MAT would then handle the day-to-day running of the batteries, including trackside support, maintenance and logistics with the teams, although the partnership would end in 2019/20.[8]

Gen 3 Woes

MAT would rival Lucid and former FE battery suppliers Williams Advanced Engineering to supply FE would batteries for the Generation 3 ruleset, which was to feature fast charging, increased power input and output, and a reduction in battery weight.[9] WAE subsequently won the tender for Gen 3, leaving MAT without a OEM contract with the series, although that did allow sister company McLaren Racing to join FE as a team, and potential future powertrain supplier, ahead of the 2022/23 season, the start of the Gen 3 era.[10][11]

Products

McLaren Applied Technologies, and their subsidiaries, have been involved in Formula E since the inaugural season, and have supplied parts and equipment to both of the base FE cars.

Spark-Renault SRT_01E

Main Article: Spark-Renault SRT_01E

The Spark-Renault SRT-01E at the Geneva Motorshow in 2014.

MAT's first major contribution to the Formula E Championship was their creation of the Spark-Renault SRT_01E, the first homologated car for the FIA Formula E Championship, with McLaren Electronic Systems developing the base powertrain.[1] Capable of producing 200kw (270bhp) and reaching 225kmh (140mph), the SRT_01E was the first FIA sanctioned all electric race car to be produced, with all 10 entrants in the 2014/15 Formula E Championship issued with four examples.[12] Modifications to the car are not allowed (apart from race setup work), although from 2015/16, manufacturers were able to replace the MES powertrain.[4]

Spark Gen 2

Main Article: Spark Gen 2

The new Formula E "batmobile": The Spark Gen 2

The second Spark creation for FE would be the radically different Spark Gen 2, which featured prototype style bodywork rather than a traditional open-wheel design.[6] The new car, boasting the MAT designed battery, will be the first car capable of completing a full E-Prix distance, with a potential maximum speed of 300km/h (186 mph).[6] Like its predecessor, the Gen 2 will be retrofitted with different powertrains when it is delivered to the ten Formula E entrants for the 2018/19 season, although all will use the MAT developed battery during the car's three season commission.[13]

References

Videos and Images:

References:

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 'McLaren to power new FIA Formula E Championship', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 01/11/2012), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2012/november/mclaren-to-power-new-fia-formula-e-championship.aspx, (Accessed 09/07/2015)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 'McLaren Applied Technologies: Our Story', mclaren.com, (McLaren Automotive, 2018), https://www.mclaren.com/appliedtechnologies/about/, (Accessed 01/02/2018)
  3. 3.0 3.1 'McLaren to supply new Formula E battery', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 28/09/2016), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/september/mclaren-to-supply-new-formula-e-battery/, (Accessed 01/02/2018)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 'Eight manufacturers to enter Formula E next season', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 23/02/2015), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2015/february/eight-manufacturers-to-enter-fia-formula-e-from-second-season.aspx, (Accessed 19/07/2015)
  5. 'TEN TEAMS ENTERED FOR THE 2016-17 FIA FORMULA E CHAMPIONSHIP', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 01/07/2016), http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/july/ten-teams-entered-for-the-2016-17-fia-formula-e-championship/, (Accessed 08/07/2016)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 'Introducing: the Gen2 Formula E car', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 30/01/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/january/introducing-the-gen2-formula-e-car/, (Accessed 30/01/2018)
  7. 'Nine manufacturers homologated for Season 5', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 21/03/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/march/nine-season-5-powertrain-manufacturers-homologated/, (Accessed 22/03/2017)
  8. 8.0 8.1 [Archived] 'Three-way partnership for Formula E battery supply', apexracingpr.com, (Apex Racing PR, 23/10/2016), https://web.archive.org/web/20170602204628/https://apexracingpr.com/2016/10/23/three-way-partnership-for-formula-e-battery-supply/, (Accessed 23/05/2022) - Original
  9. Sam Smith, 'WILLIAMS LIKELY TO RECLAIM FORMULA E BATTERY DEAL FOR GEN3', the-race.com, (The Race, 16/06/2020), https://the-race.com/formula-e/williams-likely-to-reclaim-formula-e-battery-deal-for-gen3/, (Accessed 18/06/2020)
  10. Sam Smith, 'HANKOOK GRABS FORMULA E TYRE DEAL FOR GEN3', therace.com, (The Race, 01/07/2020), https://the-race.com/formula-e/hankook-grabs-formula-e-tyre-deal-for-gen3/, (Accessed 01/07/2020)
  11. 'MCLAREN RACING TO ENTER FORMULA E', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 14/05/2022), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2022/may/mclaren-joins-formula-e, (Accessed 14/05/2022)
  12. 'Car: Specification', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 2015), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/guide/car.aspx?page=1334, (Accessed 19/07/2015)
  13. 'Nissan joins growing list of automotive brands in Formula E', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 25/10/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/october/nissan-joins-growing-list-of-automotive-brands-in-formula-e/, (Accessed 25/10/2017)
FIA Formula E Partners
Institutional
Formula E HoldingsFédération Internationale de l'AutomobileABB
Founding
BMWDHLMichelinQualcommRenaultTAG Heuer
Other
AllianzAntofagasta MineralsBosch • Copper Co. • EnelHeinekenHugo BossJulius Bär • Modis • Saudia
Spark Technical Partners
Spark Racing TechnologiesBremboDallaraHankookHewlandLucid MotorsMcLarenWilliams
Former Partners
1st Round • CNBC • Rimac AutomobiliUmicorevoestalpine
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