NAPA – North Adriatic Ports Association

Our Motorsport Division has Started to Make Connections Across Electric and Hybrid Racing Platforms

It is becoming harder to avoid the latest green EV (electric vehicle) revolution, especially since it covers many front pages at the moment as more and more manufacturers make announcements about their new vehicles. There are also talks about their plans and efforts to replace the polluting models so that these changes make it in time for deadlines that have been put into place by several countries. For the UK, this could be by 2030, but before these deadlines, many of the autosport areas will have already migrated to electric-only power. Here at FC Lane Electronics, we explain more.

Peter Costin, our Business Development Manager for Motorsport and Geophysical, has stated that Lane Motorsport has actively supplied connector solutions that support the EV revolution across motorsport for many years now. He also says that these are the types of connector systems that have entered all motorsports platforms, which includes every level of racing cars, boats, and bikes. Peter added that we also support various Formula Student teams that are in the process of developing a range of electric racing vehicles of their own, where they have incorporated highly innovative ideas.

The Rise of Formula E

As the move to EV in racing has started to gather pace, there are also new Formula “E” categories that are regularly announced across many of the autosport sectors. In fact, all the serious autosport teams are in the process of transitioning into a completely electric platform. They are also adding more “hybridisation” to their current offerings.

The designers that currently work on these latest platforms have started to ask for even more complex harnesses and cable assemblies that feature lighter and smaller connectors, along with more contacts, and an increased current capability. They are also looking for much faster data and signal speeds to keep up with these advancements in communications, along with the latest high-power motors.

Our company specialises in various connector systems that are specifically designed for autosport. Our latest connectors are specified for a range of onboard applications covering hybrid, fully-electric, and petrol platforms. Alongside the more traditional connector applications that are used in today’s racing vehicles, Peter explained that we are expecting an increase in demand for lighter and smaller sensor connectors, that are as resistant to a range of demanding environments. These fall into the range of the power-pack cooling systems and the power packs, and the motors along with their monitoring and control systems.

Souriau-Sunbank and Lane Motorsport

Most of these EV connector applications will be compatible with the current 8STA connector systems that are manufactured and produced by Souriau-Sunbank by Eaton, which Lane Motorsport is already a value-add distributor for. Made and designed to match the current requirements of MIL-DTL-38999, these are very small circular connectors that have become a popular connector solution across the sector of motorsport for electronics systems and sensors in applications that cover data acquisition, engine management, telemetry, steering-wheel systems, hybrid-energy recovery systems, and fuel tanks.

Souriau’s 8STA circular connectors are all based around rugged aluminium body-plated as the standard along with durable conductive black-zinc. This 8STA range also includes a few high-density models that offer up to 68 sizes and 26 contacts that are compatible with 24 to 30 AWG wire, along with high-power versions that can handle up to 200A.

The operating temperatures range between – 55ºC to +175ºC, and when they are mated, these connectors match up to the IP67 requirements, which means that they are capable of withstanding demanding environments that are present across most motorsport platforms.

The 8STS range by Souriau also includes the ultra-miniature size 01 version that provides a dramatic 20% saving in weight and size when compared to the 02 series, but still retains the performance advantages of the larger connectors, including an anti-vibration design, along with premium resistance to most motorsport environments. The size 01 connectors also accommodate 3 removable sizes 26 contacts.

Over and above the connectors, Lane Motorsport’s 8STA connector-solutions package also includes connector accessories designed and made by HellermannTyton and Weald Electronics. This range includes nut plates, protective caps, heat shrink boots, gaskets, and the necessary assembly tools required to complete applications.