Formula E's single-seaters might be all about the future, but they actually share a lot with today's conventional race cars. And one notable street car: When the series started in 2014, all the cars were powered by the same make and model of electric motor found in the McLaren P1's hybrid drivetrain. It's still in use today, albeit in a slightly modified form.
Why the P1's motor? As , this unit was the most power-dense automotive electric motor available when Formula E was getting off the ground. Where most electric motors of this type offer 2-3 kilowatts of power per kilogram, the P1's offers 8 kW/kg. Formula E now allows teams to source their own motors, though the McLaren unit is still used in a number of cars.
Interestingly, McLaren recently won a contract to supply the series with 54-kWh batteries, nearly double the capacity of Formula E's current, 28-kWh unit. The Woking company has yet to enter a car of its own design in the series—but in a way, McLaren has already powered more winning Formula E racers than any other automaker.