Climate 21

Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team Lead Ian James Talks Electric Motorsport and the Importance of Data

June 09, 2021 Tom Raftery / Ian James Season 1 Episode 28
Climate 21
Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team Lead Ian James Talks Electric Motorsport and the Importance of Data
Show Notes Transcript

A couple of week's back on this podcast we chatted with Alejandro Agag, the founder of the Formula E World Championship - the electric motorsport racing series.

This week I managed to convince Ian James, the Team Lead and Managing Director for the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team!

We had a fascinating conversation around electric cars, the Formula E championship, the benefits to Mercedes of participating n the championship, and the importance of data to the Mercedes EQ Formula E team, and so much more.

I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation being the total electro-head that I am and could have kept talking for another forty minutes. I hope you enjoy it too.

If you have any comments/suggestions or questions for the podcast - feel free to leave me a voice message over on my SpeakPipe page, head on over to the Climate 21 Podcast Forum, or just send it to me as a direct message on Twitter/LinkedIn. Audio messages will get played (unless you specifically ask me not to).

And if you want to know more about any of SAP's Sustainability solutions, head on over to www.sap.com/sustainability and if you liked this show, please don't forget to rate and/or review it. It makes a big difference to help new people discover the show. Thanks.

And remember, stay healthy, stay safe, stay sane!

Music credit - Intro and Outro music for this podcast was composed, played and produced by my daughter Luna Juniper

Ian James:

I did a talk yesterday to my daughter's school about Formula E, and and what we do. And they're a group of 10 and 11 year olds. And as I was looking at that, you know, the thought suddenly struck me that actually, when they are taking their driving test and going out to buy cars, should they be in the fortunate position to buy a new car, they'll only be able to buy electric.

Tom Raftery:

Good morning, good afternoon, or good evening wherever you are in the world. This is the climate 21 podcast, the number one podcast showcasing best practices and climate emissions reductions. And I'm your host, global Vice President for SAP. Tom Raftery. Clemmer 21 is the name of an initiative by SAP to allow our customers calculate, report and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. In this climate 21 podcast, I will showcase best practices and thought leadership by SAP, by our customers, by our partners and by our competitors if their game in climate emissions reductions. Don't forget to subscribe to this podcast in your podcast app of choice to be sure you don't miss any episodes. Hi, everyone. Welcome to the climate 21 podcast. My name is Tom Raftery with SAP and with me on the show today I have my special guest, Ian, Ian, would you like to introduce yourself?

Ian James:

Yes. And he will tell him first of all, absolute pleasure to be here. And thank you for the opportunity. My name is Ian James. I'm the team principal of Mercedes EQ formulary team and managing director of Mercedes Benz for the E limited, which is tasked with running the team.

Tom Raftery:

Phenomenal. So we publish an episode of this podcast a couple of weeks ago with Alejandro our gag talking about Formula E and extreme E. No, but just in case, not everyone listens to every episode. So just in case people missed that episode, would you explain to people who might be unaware what is Formula E

Ian James:

is a formulary is a form of single season motorsport. But the difference between other motor sports that you may be aware of such as Formula One, touring cars and so on and so forth. It's It's It's fully electric. So we have no combustion engine in the vehicle at all. But all of the other aspects of it the racing, the the event itself, and not dissimilar to, to traditional forms most for you just mentioned, our Andrew there. He is the founder of the championship. And I think a real visionary in that respect, as well. So he was somebody that really believes very strongly in the purpose of electric motorsport as a, as a vehicle, if you like for, for promoting this, this this seismic switch that we're seeing now to electric mobility in its entirety. And although we're very much a start up as a series, we're now in our in our seventh season. And, and we, as of this season, being recognized as an official FIFA World Championship. So it just goes to show that the series itself is is going from strength to strength. And I think it's already cemented itself as the pinnacle of electric motorsport, which has a has a bright future.

Tom Raftery:

And before we turned on the recorder, you happen to mention that you drive an Eevee yourself, we were having a discussion, I I'm on my second Eevee, as you know, regular listeners might be aware of I drove an ad for you were saying you drive an EQ C, which is a phenomenal car as well. How do you find driving an electric car as opposed to driving an old fossil fuel vehicle?

Ian James:

I mentioned a few minutes ago, as you say, that I'm what we would in the past have described as a petrol head. I'm passionate about cars and passionate about motorsport. Since you know, the time I can remember, it's always been something that has fascinated me. So I'm incredibly fortunate, first and foremost, that I'm able to work in an industry that that I'm so fascinated by. And we have seen this switch and I had the opportunity about two and a half, three years ago now to get involved with the formulary program. And I'll be the first to admit that up until that point, my experience of electric vehicles was was somewhat limited. But having got got involved in this and educated myself and now made the switch across the EDS. It's actually been quite quite a refreshing experience. It does still take a change of mindset, a change of strategy, if you like, because you have to think a little bit more about about where you're going and and the charging options as the infrastructure still continues to grow. But there are some some huge advantages to it as well. The fact that 90% of My driving is done between home and work and I am lucky enough to have charges at both locations. It makes it so easy. I haven't visited a petrol station for a long, long time, which is which is fantastic. And and as you get used to it as you get into the rhythm of electric mobility, actually the the the the sticking points that I think people are wary of the kind of the longer distances and things like that aren't so much of an issue anymore either. And I think that as the practice starts to improve and great, we're going to see a sea change in electric mobility becoming a viable option for most people.

Tom Raftery:

Yeah, my previous car was a Nissan LEAF, fully electric with a range of about 250 kilometers. And that was quite limiting, especially here in the south of Spain, where there's not a great charging infrastructure. But my current one, the 84 has a range closer to 500 kilometers, depending on how you drive it. Obviously, if I'm driving at 120 kilometers on the motorway that drops down to a little under 400, maybe 300. And at around town at around 500. But if you know if I drove two kids, which is 120 130 kilometers away, I have zero problem driving there at 120 kilometers an hour. And coming back home. You know, I don't worry about having to find a charger. it's it's it's trivial. I wake up in the morning and the car is full. It the overnight cost of electricity here is nine cent per kilowatt hour. So to fill the tank, as it were costs seven euro it's

Ian James:

it's a game changer, isn't it. And I think that the the technology is moving on at such a pace now. Our last race actually was in Monaco. And we were fortunate enough to have one of our latest cars down there, the Mercedes EQ s Whoa, whoa. And that that range now on the official ratings is, I believe I'm writing say 760 kilometers. And when we're getting into that level, as I say that that really is a game changer. And if you combine that with the improvements in infrastructure and charging options that you've got out there, and you see the the speed at which that those steps forward are being taken. And then as I say, I think it's going to be a viable option for most people, if not all people. And I think that that's where that change is going to happen. And it's necessary as well. And not not only for the new environmental sustainability, and so on and so forth. But it's pleasing to see the steps that governments are now taking really to almost force this change through regulation. And sitting here in the UK. We know that, that in 2030, that you're not going to be able to buy a combustion engine vehicle anymore, it will need to be fully electric. And it was interesting. I was I was I was doing a talk yesterday to my daughter's school about ordinaria. And and what we do, and they're a group of 10 and 11 year olds, and as I was looking at them, you know, the thought suddenly struck me that actually, when they are taking their drone test and going out to buy cars, should they be in the fortunate position to buy a new car, they'll only be able to buy electric. And that's that's that's a real step change in the way that we need to approach things.

Tom Raftery:

Yeah, cuz that's only eight and a half years away.

Ian James:

Yeah, this is incredibly sad. It was quite quite an eye opener as to say when I was making that presentation yesterday.

Tom Raftery:

Fantastic. Fantastic. Well, we're here to talk about Formula E, not about our own personal driving situations. So tell me a little bit about why Mercedes got into formula II, because Mercedes has a long history in Formula One. Sure. Why formula II,

Ian James:

he said about the long history. I mean, we've been involved in motorsport for some 126 years now. So there's been an incredible heritage that we have. And more recently, so we've enjoyed phenomenal success in Formula One. And that formula has also seen a step change in the way it approaches the way that you use your fuel effectively. And, and how that's employed. So, you know, that's very much focused on on the on the hybrid technology that's been there. So we saw that change back in 2014. But formulary really has given us this opportunity now to showcase fully electric mobility and do it in an exciting way and bring it into the cities. Now. right at the beginning of the podcast, you asked me about the differences between traditional export and formulary. The one thing I didn't mention at the time is that is where we're actually racing. And that's very much in the center of these often very iconic cities, which is a phenomenal opportunity and a privilege to date. But it allows us to bring the messaging to communicate why electric mobility is so Bible to really the people that that that are going to need it the most. And at the same time, it's an incredibly exciting racing series. So from Mercedes Benz, he gave us the opportunity to sort of hit to scratch our rhcp like for racing to continue that racing heritage in a series which I think's got a phenomenal future. And it's showing the direction that things are going to move in. And at the same time, of course, use it as a marketing platform for our brands, especially with the EQ brand, which is going to be at the forefront of our electric mobilities.

Tom Raftery:

Fantastic. And it It was amazing for me when I went to I was at the finale of The 2019 series in Brooklyn in New York. And it was amazing for me to see, you know, a championship racing series happen in a not quite city center, but not far off the city center in Brooklyn in New York. And that's as you said, That's only possible because you don't have the noise and the fumes that you would have associated with something like a Formula One racing series. So it really it really is a phenomenal way of showcasing the advantages of electric transportation.

Ian James:

Yeah, absolutely. I think it is, you rightly say it's bringing some very important messages through and it's showing things. And again, we're here to focus on on foolery. But to go back to the so the electric driving in this is incredibly exciting. But it's very different because too, it's what we've been used to in the past. So I think it's doing a phenomenal job in bringing that message across.

Tom Raftery:

And what what does Mercedes hope to gain from the involvement with from an E,

Ian James:

I think there's a couple of things I mentioned as certainly as sort of the brand awareness, which I think is important, because it does communicate that in a very effective way and reach really that what we see is our target group. So what we're seeing at the moment is that the the spectators that come there, the I think I forget that the average age is somewhere around about 34, which is incredibly unfair sport. We're also seeing a lot of families coming. So people who live in these cities, who maybe aren't motorsport fans, they're coming down, because there's an event happening more than more than a race, right. And then they're getting, they're getting intrigued and hopefully excited by the racing as well. And then they become fans for for a long time going into the future. So I think that it does give us that opportunity to to reach those those new target groups, which are going to be so important for us. But on the same, By the same token, we've always used motorsport as a testbed for new technologies. And and formulary is going to be no different in that, in that respect. What we've done so far is very much focused on on getting things up and running and making sure that we understand the nuances of the sport, we understand the technical challenges that we've got. But we've consciously made sure that we're always in dialogue with our colleagues back and stick out primarily who are developing on the road car side of things. What we've already shared is some knowledge transfer, in terms of how we're approaching the challenges and the problems that we've got. And already, we're seeing some incredible steps forward, you know, efficiencies of 9697 98% in the powertrain as a whole, which is just mind blowing. And to be able to then discuss that and talk about those those those advances with, with the very power sides. Brilliant. And what I anticipate that we'll see in the not too distant future is we go look beyond the knowledge transfer, and we're actually getting into technology transfer as well. And in that way, formulary, as with Formula One and the ultimate sports we've been involved in the past, it's going to be a very valuable and valid way of of progressing technologies going forward. And I think that's just going to add more to the, to our electric mobility.

Tom Raftery:

Focus, okay. And formally, of course, is a showcase of low carbon zero carbon, sport, motorsport in particular, but sport in general, can you can you talk a little bit about what Mercedes has done to showcase its sustainability to keep its emissions down for this series, that kind of thing

Ian James:

is mentioned formulary. I mean, that really lies at the heart of it as well and FDA together with the FDA, I think you've done a great job in making sure that there are elements of the series which really are benchmark in terms of the approach so the the series as a whole has been net carbon neutral since its inception, which is the first sport series ever to achieve that. And then there's little details that you see as well the fact that the we have one tire so we don't have a wet tire and a drive tire. We have an all weather tire. That cuts the tire usage down and therefore the freight by between 30 and 50%. And at the end of it they will recycled as well. So there's there's, there's, you know, steps that we can take in that regard. From a spectator perspective, you may have noticed when you were there in New York, they're there. And they know, there's no way to buy, you know, plastic bottles of water, but there are water refilling stations, so you have the opportunity to get reusable bottles or pouches and refill there. So there's these details that you can do. But we've set ourselves the tasks internally of not only as a team being benchmark in terms of performance, because at the end of the day, we are in competition, and we're there to win. But be being benchmark in terms of sustainability as well. And on one hand, being a startup, because we only started the organization a couple of years back is challenging, because you don't have the history and the data to rely on. But on the other hand, actually, as a start up, you've got a blank sheet of paper, and you can you can set yourself the mission of doing things right first time. And we very much did that with sustainability as well. So right at the beginning, we sat down and we said, okay, well, what does this mean for us? What does the benchmark mean? And how are we going to achieve it, and we had to break it down into things that we could, that we could actually achieve throughout this formation phase that we're going into. And as we become a more stable going concern as a business. So at the moment, we're very much focused on on our first 12 objectives that we've set ourselves for this season. And we've then further broken those down into into six by six, so six achievable objectives every six months. And they range from anything, you know, right from the basics of making sure that every team member, every individual understands what those objectives are, and what their role is in achieving them to the actual objectives themselves. We've spoken already about that, you know, the fact that I drive, an electric car, my, my leadership team 80% of now I've already made the switch to electric cars and electric mobility, we're now starting to look at the next phase, which is looking at the commuting patterns of our team as a whole. So again, that's something that we can we can start to do. So we we've identified or created a strategy, but now identified actual concrete measures by which we as a team can make a difference. And I think that's, that's absolutely crucial in the position that we're in.

Tom Raftery:

And what about things like the racist happen in different cities throughout the world, I mentioned, I was at a final in New York, you mentioned you were in was at Monaco recently, or Valencia or places like that, you know, so there's a lot of people and equipment to physically move, that must be challenging.

Ian James:

Yeah, there's this what some I've seen in the past as a sort of an uncomfortable truth that we are an international sport. And that means that we are going to be going to be racing in different countries all over the world. And there's, there's an impact, or there's an effect that that has on your carbon footprint, and ultimately, your your your sustainability as an organization. And I think what's important there is then to look at how you can how, what measures you can put into place to to, to really reduce that impact. And at the end of the day, our target is obviously to become net carbon neutral. But there's a long way to go in that process. And I think it's working together with the likes of the FIA, with with FAO as well, in making those fine adjustments through throughout every aspect and every element of what we do, that's really going to make a difference. And for us, as I mentioned before, with because we're a startup, we haven't got that, that that data set, I suppose initially to rely on to really have that check and balance. And it's one of those things that we're actually working very closely together with, with your team at SAP at the moment to really put the systems in place in this. There's something that we were just launching at the moment called the sustainability dashboard, which will enable us to actually track every element of whether it's travel, for example, whether it's our, our supply chain and the carbon impact on that, or that that has, and start to make sure that through that data gathering, we can then do the analysis and make sure we understand where we can make improvements. And I think that's absolutely key.

Tom Raftery:

Great, great. And I noticed that on your cars, the delivery is black and there's this end racism thing on the on the T bar, can you talk about play that theory? You mean sustainability goes beyond carbon emissions obviously for you guys.

Ian James:

Yeah, sustainability has always been something which is much, much broader than environmental sustainability and, and diversity and inclusion very much comes into into sustainability for us as well. You can talk about financial sustainability from the business model that we have in sustainability is used a lot today, as a word. And I think environmental sustainability, yes is very much at the forefront of a lot of the activities that we're undertaking the measures that we're trying to improve, that we are very conscious to look at the broader picture, if you like. Now, through the day, the topics that we had last year, especially, that really bought the, the racism to the forefront in all of our lives, and shone a light on what was happening. We, together with our colleagues and Formula One, so as a motorsport group, if you like, took a very conscious decision that we needed to use our platform to send a strong message that we were very much against racism and very supportive of diversity and inclusion. But it needs to be more than just a, you know, painting the car black and putting and racism on the halo in the same way as it know that environmental sustainability needs to be more than just, you know, ticking the box that we get the right accreditation is in place, you have to then have a strategy and a plan of how to drive things forward. And so we as a small group, now have already started a quite an intensive look into how we're approaching the topic of diversity and inclusion, for example, within our workplace, again, I use the example that we that we are a start up, and we've got a phenomenal opportunity to to now put the right the right measures in place. But there needs to be a plan going forward as well. So we're starting to look, I'll give one example. motorsport has been quite, you know, focused and targeted in the past about where the talent comes from. And at the end of the day, we are, we only perform through the people that are in our team. But if I look at Mozart Valley, here in the UK, whether it's ourselves or variable, or whether it's Mahindra, downgrade, you know, we look to pull from certain sources for that talent, and then typically universities in the area, and so on and so forth. And I think we're missing a huge opportunity to actually broaden the spectrum and look for talent elsewhere. So we're consciously now looking at a plan not just for today, but for the future, working together with other institutions in areas which may not have traditionally been, you know, that those sources for us, and making sure that in the future, that it's very much a different situation, that we're effectively looking at a much broader and broader area. And through doing that, I think that will make huge strides in the topic of diversity inclusion as well.

Tom Raftery:

tremendous, tremendous. Can you talk about, you know, you mentioned a couple of times now that you guys are a startup, if I if I'm correct, I think that you're in your second season out of the seven to seven seasons that Formula E has been in place? What have been, I mean, you've obviously as a startup, you've come across lots of challenges starting out in this new industry in this new sport, as a startup, what have been some of the biggest lessons learned you've you've had?

Ian James:

And that's a really good question. I think that the one of the things, I mean, purely from a structural perspective, we were very fortunate. As you mentioned, I used the word startup a couple of times already. And that's probably hiding the fact that, that I've had a huge pool of time to actually pull from initially. So it's a Mercedes motorsport, reminiscing about the 126 years heritage. I've been very lucky that there was already a network there that we can start to cherry pick from and bring a really a world class team together. And we've learned initially that that is so crucial to the success and and we've, we've, we've been fortunate in having that that sample there. And it's meant that very quickly, although we're in our second season, we've had some some pretty strong results. So far. There's there's a long way to go. Yeah, there's there's no doubt about that. But so but I think that that that that, for me was a key learning. Following on from that, what we're now doing is we're going through that our next phase of our transition, and that's bringing everybody together. So we were we were split over five, five locations in two different countries. That wasn't the most efficient way of working. So we're now when our time auditioning to being based primarily in the UK, although we'll still continue to have expertise brought in from from from other areas as well. And then the other thing, going back to the approach that we've had to make in terms of sustainability, and that I mentioned about the fact before that most sports maybe not being always the, the benchmark in terms of where it pulls its talent from, in some circles, it goes the same for environmental sustainability as well, if we're if we're brutally honest, our supply chain that the the engineering that we bring in from outside in some circles, has has had this single minded focus on performance. And that's absolutely right, because that's what you're measured on at the end of the day, you're in a competition, you're there to win. And we can't go away from that, because that then it's nonsensical, that then starts to sort of defeat the object has been in the competition in the first place. But what we are able to do as a start up now, what we are able to do is this organization that's growing and through our lessons learned, is I think, start to educate that we can have that focus on performance, but at the same time, bring in other elements which are which are going to be of equal importance, such as such as sustainability. I'll give one example we I was having a discussion last night with, with head of operations, he is at come on board in the last last few weeks. And and he was asking the question about, okay, we want the performance, you know, we've got to do it at the cost, which is going to be sustainable as well. But now you're asking me to, you know, to track and monitor the carbon footprint of the supply chain. He said, our supply chain simply isn't set up to do that. So So does that mean now? Are we going to go with the supplier who can provide you with the most performance? Or are we going to get it to the one that maybe isn't quite so performant, but can give us the data that we need to ensure that we're that we've got we meet our sustainability goals? And I said, Well, I'm going to be incredibly schizophrenic here, I think we need to do both. Because if we're, if we're honest about it, that's the challenge that we've set ourselves. That's the opportunity that we've got in the position that we're in as a startup, because we can genuinely hit the reset button and do things a little bit differently with it with a different approach. I think the key is going to be in how we now communicate that to our partners, how we how we work together with our supply chain, in this case, to actually make sure that we can reach those goals in a in a way that makes sense. I think it's really now stressing to them. And some of these companies are quite small. So it's going to be quite a painful change, for sure. But it's stressing to them that if they want to be round in the next five or 10 years, they're going to have to make this change anyway. Yep. So let's work together with you, let's let's work together in driving that change forward, let's make sure that you can still be the best supplier and produce the best components, which ultimately is going to make this go faster. But let's do it in a way that we can actually track and measure as an example of carbon footprint, and then make the adjustments that are required to actually become better going forward in the future. And that may say it's it sounds so utopian, and maybe maybe I'm being naive in terms of the, you know, the challenge that we've got in doing that. But I strongly believe that unless you do that, then then you simply will, as an organization, you'll cease to exist in the future is is is that existentially important?

Tom Raftery:

Yeah, no, you're absolutely right on. I one of the earlier episodes of this podcast, I had a guy on called Lucas Java, and he's the chief environmental officer from Microsoft. And he was saying that Microsoft are going to require all of their suppliers to submit their carbon footprint associated with whatever they're supplying to Microsoft. And he took the very, he took a very similar approach saying, this is something we're going to phase in. And we're going to work with all of our suppliers to help them report this to make sure that they're doing it accurately and to help them it's not going to be something that they're going to, you know, they are going to require them to do it. But it's not, you know, today, you don't have to do it tomorrow, you have to do it. It's up to you how you do it, figure it out yourselves. It's not that kind of an approach. It's no, it's very much I working with them to help them figure out how to do it and to do it accurately, so that then they're supplying accurate reports to Microsoft and Microsoft are then able to make more informed decisions about their supply chain. So it's a very similar approach.

Ian James:

And in that example, huge organization And such as Microsoft, I mean, we're, we're minnows In comparison, the racing team. But I think it's incumbent on all of us to do take these necessary steps going forward and to make this change. And it dovetails for us very well with the the approach that's being taken by our mothership. So Daimler and Mercedes Benz have the same approach there. So they have the ambition, what they call ambition, 2039, which is a very, very clear roadmap for the next 30 years, which first and foremost looks at what what we as an organization can do. So it's setting targets like having, you know, a carbon neutral new car passenger fleet by 2030. So you're talking about only either plug in hybrids or fully electric cars, it's talking about having all of our European plants being carbon neutral from 2022, which is, which is a phenomenal stretch target. But it goes beyond that as well, it starts talking about actually the supply chain. So all they know is a racing team, we can have a very small impact, I think it's still important to do that. But when you scale that up to a company like dinela, producing all those, those those millions of vehicles, if you can then impart that on the on the supply chain. And I think it is important to make it a requirement and they have made it requirements is the communication that's going out to all of the suppliers that say that you are going to be you know, accountable for this, you are going to need to provide the data and then show the steps that are going to need to be taken to support us on our journey, then that's going to make a huge difference. And it's it's refreshing to see these huge organizations as well as the smaller organizations taking the initiative now and setting out these clear roadmaps. I think what's the key, though, is it's making sure that we can then get the data back, we can analyze it, and then we can actually prove that we've taken those steps in the right direction. Because without that, it's almost nonsensical. Yeah, yeah,

Tom Raftery:

I read a McKinsey report recently, which said that something like 80, in excess of 80% of an organization's emissions comes from their supply chain. So this is hugely, hugely important. But speaking of data, I'm curious kind of, because we've seen in Formula One, the importance of data. But in Formula II, the cars I suspect are even more connected. So does data play an even bigger role in the team

Ian James:

is everything to us, it really isn't. And that goes through for the preparation for the for each event, through into the events themselves. So I mentioned before about the fact that we race in the city centers, as opposed to on permanent racetracks. And what that means is that FDA, the governing body, and the organizers will go in only a few days before the weekend, in order to set it up, because effectively We're shutting down a part of the city to enable us to race around it. Sure. So they can't be in for that long. And what it means for us is that we can't go out and practice on those those circuits. There's also the fact that the circuits change year to year and this season, we're seeing circuits that we've never raised them before the last race in Monaco was a different layout that which was based on the past. Our next race and massacres is in Puebla, we've never raced there before. So actually the data that we can get in terms of and I use one example, the track simulations, is absolutely crucial, because that gives the teams and the drivers an opportunity to effectively practice before they get out there. And it's not just about the drivers themselves, it's about the way that we use the energy management, as well. I'll come on to that in a second. And then once once that work has been done, then you actually get out to the event itself. And the event format is set up in such a way that we are actually only active really for one day, it kicks off normally about 730 in the morning with free practice one on Saturday. And I also later will have free practice to them by 11 1130. In the morning, we're in our qualifying sessions. And then at about three o'clock in the afternoon, we actually have the race, which is 45 minutes long plus one lap. So between has 730 in the morning, and about 430 in the afternoon. That's the entire event done. And in between each of those sessions. The engineers are working furiously refining all of the work that they did in advance on those simulators to be able to actually actually give the drivers the best chance of success. And I mentioned a second ago about energy management and that that that really does play a crucial role in all of this. So we have a certain amount of energy that we're able to use for that race. It's precisely as 52 kilowatt hours. Now the race itself is is impacted by obviously, whether you have any safety cars or yellow flags that are coming out there, there's a factor called attack mode, which plays a role and that affected going into too much detail. But it means that we have to go off the reason line at a certain time point in the race, we get more powerful for minutes, that then has an impact on how much energy you're using. There's a myriad of different things which which come into effect in the race and our strategy. And it means that data and that analysis is is absolutely crucial. And that goes for the preparation as well as for the speed of speed of adaptability, if that's even a phrase that we need, throughout the throughout the sessions themselves. So yeah, without that we'd be lost.

Tom Raftery:

Okay, and you, you mentioned earlier as well, the knowledge and tech transfer that are starting to happen between yourselves under stood guard, how well, not how but what kinds of technologies do you see making their way from Formula E into the EQ series of vehicles that you're making, Mulder stuttgarter making,

Ian James:

I think at the moment, it's very much that knowledge transfer in terms of how we're approaching the problems. So whether you've got a racing car that you're going for that that ultimate performance, or you've got a road cow, which is designed to last for decades, the challenge the engineering challenges is pretty much the same. And it's effectively how to use the amount of energy that you've got in the most efficient manner. And, and because it's that that parity between the two, we're able to learn from from each other, and transfer that that knowledge across one example that is actually within motorsport, but then could go across to road car. So the engineers that that we brought on to the former et have actually, a lot of them come from from our from one program. And I was involved in that a few years back. And it's great to now work together with the same people again, but the one of the topics we looked at was actually rated cooling. Because when you have an electric motor, you have a stager and a rater, that the efficiency or the means by which you can actually call that rotor has quite an impact on the efficiency of the measurement system as well. And we've actually, once we took the combustion engine away from the whole thing out of Formula One, we were left just just with the electric machine, and the focus was on that we learn very, very quickly how to how to improve that particular aspect of it in that element. So rather than the Formula One experience and expertise coming into formulary, with nastiness transfer going back before returning to Formula One. And there's no reason that that learning now can't transpose the road car side of things as well. And if you take the EQ s that we have done in Monaco, and we're speaking earlier about the range is 760 kilometers, that comes from a few different elements. But fundamentally, you've got the battery technology, you've got the efficiency of the powertrain, and then you've got the aerodynamics of the car, and other cars, the most aerodynamic that we've ever ever produced and design at Mercedes, I think it's the most aerodynamic road car out there at the moment. If you've got the right battery technology in there, and then we can also learn from from motorsport and make the the powertrain itself as efficient as possible, then you've got a great chance of continuing to make those improvements and those gains, which are actually going to ultimately translate into electric mobility being a viable option for the customer out there. So it's a very long winded way of saying that, actually, what we're doing in developing for the racetrack, I strongly believe can have a direct impact for the man on the street, woman on the street and get out there and and and make this a viable and sustainable option for

Tom Raftery:

fantastic. Ian, we're coming towards the end of the podcast. Now. Is there any question that I have not asked that you wish I had? Or is there any topic we've not touched on that you think it's important for people to be aware of?

Ian James:

I don't think so. I think I think I mean, the data one, I'm glad. I'm glad you touched on that. Because I think that's that's that's an important, an important part as well.

Tom Raftery:

Super. Okay, if people want to know more about yourself, or about the Mercedes team, or about Formula E, or any of the topics we've discussed today, where would you Where would you have me direct them.

Ian James:

So as you just basically the internet's a great, a great source of information. So we have we, I would say this we've got a great team internet page. So if you if you google Mercedes EQ for routing, you should, you should find that easy enough. And, and obviously, the formulary website itself to the ABV, FIA formulary, championship is is well represented on there. And there's also all sorts of good links and information through some of the topics that we've we've touched on today. So it'll give you an opportunity to see really what we're doing and hopefully get infused not only by the racing side of it, which, which I'm biased, but I think is probably the most exciting motorsport series out there. But also, it'll give you an idea of some of the other topics that we touched on today.

Tom Raftery:

Fantastic. He and that's been really, really interesting. Thanks a million for coming on the podcast today. Massive pleasure enjoyed it immensely. Thanks. Thanks. Okay, we've come to the end of the show. Thanks, everyone, for listening. If you'd like to know more about climate 21 Feel free to drop me an email to Tom Raftery at SAP comm or connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter. If you'd like to show please don't forget to subscribe to it in your podcast application of choice to get new episodes as soon as they're published. Also, please don't forget to rate and review the podcast it really does help new people to find the show. Thanks. Catch you all next time.