STARD has joined an elite club of world-renowned motorsport engineering names by passing the FIA’s HV crash test with its in-house developed motorsport battery system.


By applying for and passing the FIA Formula E derived crash test last month, STARD joins a select group of companies to have achieved such an undertaking for a full scale BEV [Battery Electric Vehicles] traction battery, including Williams Advanced Engineering and McLaren Applied Technologies. The STARD battery system is implemented in the REVelution electric powertrain kit for the new Projekt E series this year, within the FIA World Rallycross Championship.

The stringent FIA crash criteria includes deceleration tests, where values are substantially higher than those of electric road cars, which have a significantly bigger impact for the design of traction batteries for BEVs [Battery Electric Vehicles] compared to smaller and lighter batteries as for example used in KERS and WEC Hybrid systems.

STARD Engineer setting up RESS (HV battery pack) deceleration test
STARD engineer setting up RESS (HV battery pack) deceleration test

Mechanical tests are also part of the FIA’s scrutiny, with extremely high static loads – equating to multiple tonnes of force – used to check impact and protrusion resistance of the RESS [rechargeable energy storage system] casing.

Prior to the completion of STARD’s liquid cooled and heated battery pack, designed in-house using individual ultra-high-performance Lithium Ion cells, and before being subjected to the FIA’s intensive testing process, the prepreg carbon fibre casing layout, design, FEA analysis and crash simulations were all carried out at STARD’s base in Austria. Due to the in-depth FEA processes at base, trial crash testing was not required prior to the FIA’s testing process, which the battery passed at the first attempt.

STARD battery pack ready for FIA crash test
STARD battery pack ready for FIA crash test

Aside from striving to achieve the race-winning performance from its battery system, which has already been proven in recent weeks with the Ford Fiesta ERX becoming the first ever electric car to win a rallycross event, safety was at the heart of STARD’s design from the outset, as part of the five-month project from a blank sheet design to race-ready product.

Thanks to a modular construction and design, using this base battery concept, a number of different sizes of battery packs are immediately ready to fulfil FIA crash requirements and are available with further packaging options possible, within a very short lead time.

Michael Sakowicz, STARD CEO and founder:

“We have invested a lot in our high voltage traction battery development competence. Motorsport and very high-performance battery systems are dramatically different to road car applications for two main reasons: safety requirements and power density. In the area of safety, the FIA has imposed very strict criteria for BEV (battery electric vehicle) traction batteries. That STARD is in a very elite group of industry leading companies like Williams and McLaren, by being able to offer FIA crash tested high performance battery systems for motorsport application, is the result of many years hard work. As part of our turnkey REVelution powertrain package as used in Projekt E, this is immediately available to customers.”


STARD in-house HV battery production
STARD in-house HV battery production

Philipp Thonet, STARD CTO:

“The entire development process we carried out in-house started from individual lithium ion cell level upwards. That included CAD packaging of all mechanical and electronic components, CFD simulation of the cooling system, FEA optimisation and crash analysis of the prepreg carbon fibre reinforced casing and especially with in-depth understanding of the electrochemical and electric requirements and limits of state-of-the-art lithium Ion cell technology. In addition to the simulation and CAD methods we are also processing physical lithium ion cell and module dyno testing in house. This has enabled us to deliver top level motorsport grade battery development and production, conforming with FIA safety requirements for virtually any application with the smallest development time.”


STARD HV battery design department
STARD HV battery design department

About STARD:
STARD (Stohl Advanced Research and Development and part of Stohl Group GmbH), CEO & founder Michael Sakowicz, is a research and development specialist company active in advanced motorsport, racing and high performance technology.

Stohl Group GmbH was founded and is owned by former Gr.N rally world champion, WRC and WRX Driver Manfred Stohl and consisting of 3 major independently operating business departments:

–    STARD (R&D for motorsport, automotive and beyond),
–    Stohl Racing (technical and logistic motorsport service, aftermarket),
–    Stohl Apartments (Accommodation)

STARD is focussing on entire vehicle and subsystem development and, together with Stohl Group´s other departments, covers the process chain, from first concept, design, prototype build up, up to small series vehicle production entirely in house.

Stohl Racing additionally offers worldwide top level race service, including the service of STARD in-house developed  racing vehicles.

Since 2012 STARD is focusing on R&D of EV powertrain systems and has taken a pioneering role in EV technology in road car bodyshell based motorsport categories like rally and rallycross by introduction of the world´s first all-electric Rally/Rallycross development car “HIPER MK1“, and from 2020 being exclusively responsible for all technical aspects of the projektE series, the first international all electric rallycross series worldwide.

STARD is further competing in the FIA World Rallycross Championship with in house developed Ford Fiesta based Supercars since 2015.

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