How Formula E will provide lasting benefits to the electric car market

Electric cars are getting more and more recognition and Formula E is the latest big development in the field.

It’s like Formula 1 but is limited to electric cars. The Telegraph reported that the competition launched in September, and it will give car manufacturers a stage to show what electric cars can really do in today’s day and age.

In the first season there will be ten teams including Amlin Aguri (UK), Andretti Formula E, (USA), Audi Sport ABT (Germany), China Racing (China), e.dams-Renault (France), Mahindra Racing (India), and Trulli (Switzerland). Drivers such as Nick Heidfeld and Stéphane Sarrazin have already agreed to participate. Races will take place in cities all over the world including Beijing, Miami, Buenos Aires, Berlin, and London. All teams will use the same car, the Spark-Renault SRT_01E, however, this rule will change for the second season when teams will be allowed to develop their own cars. The cars will drive in power-saving mode (180bhp) however there is a pre-determined number of times the contestants can press a boost button to increase power to 270bhp.

The technology developed for Formula E cars also finds its way into normal electric cars. Formula E tyre sponsor Michelin already stated in an article in the Telegraph that they “want to push the boundaries of electric vehicle tyre capabilities as part of [their] track-to-street ethos.” Formula E Motor Shows are now being hosted to promote sustainable, greener motor vehicles and to remove any doubts people might have about the safety of electric cars.

Pollution a key benefitter to electric automobiles

The organisers also hope that Formula E can help reduce pollution in cities such as Beijing. According to the Guardian, the Chinese capital went from having 800,000 to 6.5m cars within a decade. Pollution is a major problem and electric cars could one day offer the solution. In an interview with Engadget, Chief Technology Officer of the Virgin Racing team Sylvain Filippi is feeling positive that Formula E developments will catch on: “In the petrol racing world... it usually takes at least ten years for technology to trickle down to road cars. In the electric car industry we can do that in six months.”

Many electric cars are currently still hybrids but there are some 100%-electric cars available. Some of the best fully electric models include the BMW i3, the Chevy Spark EV, which is only available in the US, and the Citröen Berlingo Électrique, which can be bought in various European countries, however the Toyota Prius is currently one of the more popular models.

The electric car market is certainly growing, the UK 2013 saw record sales. With the help of events like the Formula E competition new technologies will be developed faster and it’ll give people more confidence in the safety and sustainability of electric cars. In the long run this could be a significant step towards lowering the worldwide emission output.


Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula E
Drivers Nick Heidfeld , Stéphane Sarrazin
Teams DAMS , NEXTEV TCR Formula E Team , Virgin Racing , Trulli , Mahindra Racing , Citroën World Rally Team , Team Aguri
Article type Special feature