How fast do Formula E cars go?

Formula E has become an established world championship over eight seasons and is only going to speed up even more with the Gen3 era nearly ready to begin


Over eight seasons and two generations of Formula E it’s gone from a groundbreaking upstart series to an established world championship featuring some of the biggest manufacturers in the world – and the next era is just around the corner.

In January, the 2023 Mexico E-Prix will kick off the faster, more powerful Gen3 age of Formula E but little is known about the apart from the headline stats of top speed, power and energy regeneration.

So how fast are they in a straight line? How much faster do they go in attack mode? How does it compare to F1 and other motorsport series, and how does it compare to previous generations of Formula E cars?

How fast are Formula E cars?

Formula E‘s promised its Gen3 cars will produce 350KW/h of power, and keep accelerating all the way to 320kph – nearly 200mph.

That’s nearly as fast as a Formula 2 car, and faster than Formula 3, DTM, WRC and V8 Supercars.

Previously, the Gen2 cars could reach 280kph – 174mph. That was from 250kW of power, but that full amount wasn’t available for most of the race thanks to attack mode.

This is set to continue in some form through Gen3 – which could also include pitstops – but in Gen2, drivers were limited to 220kW and had to drive through zones off the racing line to unlock the full amount.

It was all available in qualifying though, so drivers still got to unleash the car’s full power on track.

Edoardo Mortara of Venturi leads Nelson Piquet Jr. of Panasonic Jaguar Racing, and Oliver Rowland of Nissan e.Dams, during 2018 Diriyah E-prix | Formula E / LAT Images

Formula E vs Formula 1

Monte Carlo provides the only direct comparison between the series, as the 2022 Monaco E-Prix was raced on the same layout as the grand prix in Monte Carlo.

It’s a circuit that plays to Formula E‘s strengths more than F1, but still highlighted the pace deficit between the two.

Charles Leclerc took pole position with a lap of 1:11.376, three-tenths ahead of teammate Carlos Sainz – and in F2, Felipe Drugovich led the way with a time of 1:21:348.

A month earlier, Mitch Evans was the only driver to clock a time under 90 seconds in qualifying for the Monaco E-Prix, managing 1:29.839 to win his qualifying final duel against Pascal Wehrlein by a quarter of a second.

So Formula E is significantly slower than its fellow single-seater world championships, though it’ll be interesting to see how much of that gap they make up with the Gen3 chassis.

Evans‘ time was slower than any F1 pole time in Monte Carlo since they switched to the current layout.

1973 marked the first Monaco Grand Prix resembling its current layout, though not exactly identical, and Jackie Stewart took pole in 1:27.5.

In a straight line, there’s no comparison. The quickest F1 speed trap figure in 2022 was achieved by Nicholas Latifi at the Mexico City Grand Prix, the Canadian recorded a top speed of 356.9kph.

That’s not even the quickest time ever achieved in F1 – that accolade goes to Valtteri Bottas who reached 372.5kph (231.4mph) at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in 2016.

That’s nearly 100kph faster than the Gen2 Formula E cars, and still over 70kph faster than Gen3 is expected to be.

However, the acceleration figures paint Formula E in a more favourable light. Gen2 cars could go from 0-60mph in around 2.8 seconds – similar to F1, MotoGP and IndyCar.

For a visual comparison, Top Gear ran a Formula E vs F1 vs WRC drag race in their 2021 Christmas special.

Lewis Hamilton‘s Mercedes W12 crushed the field over a quarter-mile and the DS Techeetah came in last.

How slow were Formula E cars?

Compared to the first generation of Formula E, the 2023 cars look like spaceships.

Gen1 was a weird crossover, looking mostly like a stretched 2012 F1 car but you can definitely see the aero elements that would define the future look of the championship.

However, there’s still only a matter of seconds in it between the generations. Especially on one-lap pace, some circuits showed no difference between the two.

But on longer tracks with more flat-out running, the difference was more defined. The Rome E-Prix saw the pole time cut by four seconds, and the fastest lap in the race cut by nearly seven.

Marakesh has also seen hot-lap times slashed by seconds, but other circuits that spanned the generations like Paris or Hong Kong saw little change.

Now all that remains to see where Gen3 stacks up with its forebears, and how much faster Formula E can go.

Drivers have praised the new cars in testing but the first time we’ll get a true measure of them will be in January, at the Mexico City E-Prix.

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, and previously worked for and in motorsport and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
- Advertisment -


Christian Horner hits back at Sergio Perez as he’s drawn into Carlos Sainz contract...

Christian Horner has praised Carlos Sainz as a key player in the 2025 Formula 1 driver market while dampening...
Lando Norris during 2024 F1 testing | McLaren F1 Team

Why Lando Norris’ Chinese GP sprint pole lap was reinstated by FIA

Lando Norris experienced the highs and lows of qualifying all in the space of a few seconds after seeing...
Charles Leclerc during the 2024 Australian GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Charles Leclerc vents frustration after Ferrari sprint qualifying failure

Charles Leclerc has lamented his latest error in qualifying after the Ferrari driver experienced a frightening near-miss ahead of...
Max Verstappen of Red Bull during Sprint Qualifying at the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Verstappen gives Hamilton and Norris Chinese GP sprint hope with twin Red Bull worries

Max Verstappen conceded he could struggle at the start of the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix sprint race starting on...
Lewis Hamilton during 2024 Chinese Grand Prix, practice | Mercedes / Sam Bloxham

Lewis Hamilton at odds with Toto Wolff despite Chinese GP sprint shock

Lewis Hamilton believes he maintains a chance of winning the F1 Sprint at the Formula 1 2024 Chinese Grand...
Lando Norris during 2024 Japanese GP | McLaren F1 Team

Lando Norris rides rain and fire to take chaotic Chinese GP sprint pole

Lando Norris took the latest of pole positions as carnage ensued in sprint qualifying, with a rain-soaked SQ3 coming...
Grass at the Shanghai International Circuit caught fire during FP1 and Sprint Qualifying at the 2024 Chinese GP | Sky Sports F1

Chinese GP struck by fires as Shanghai Circuit burns on Friday

Formula 1 Sprint Qualifying was thrust into chaos on Friday morning when fires hit the Shanghai International Circuit as...
Sergio Perez of Red Bull during Sprint Qualifying at the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Chinese Grand Prix 2024 – Sprint Qualifying Results

Lando Norris clinched a dramatic Formula 1 pole position during the rain-affected sprint qualifying at the 2024 Chinese Grand...
Max Verstappen of Red Bull during Sprint Qualifying at the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Chinese Grand Prix 2024 Sprint Qualifying – Highlights

Welcome to this live blog for Sprint Qualifying at the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix, coming to you directly from the paddock...
Lance Stroll during practice for the 2024 Chinese GP | Aston Martin

Chinese Grand Prix 2024 – Free Practice 1 Results

Lance Stroll led the first free practice session of the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix, outpacing McLaren's Oscar Piastri and...
- Advertisment -