The FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) has a new racing series in the works. In order to envision it, imagine a bunch of golf carts racing in circles. Formula E will be absolutely nothing like that. In fact the only thing that these high-tech, high price racecars have in common with that image is their power source. Formula E is exclusively electric. The cars appear very similar to those of F1, but will be about 158 kg heavier due to the batteries.
The biggest hurdle most gearheads have to jump is the noise. Electric cars just hum, right? Where’s the fun in that? Thankfully, Formula E isn’t as noisless as one may think. The cars make an eerie, whining/howling noise that sounds like a cross between a golf cart and a formula one car, with a little jet engine and star wars speeder thrown in.
Formula E has a lot of things going for it. The races are set in famous cities around recognisable landmarks, some great racing teams are participating, and most importantly, it has the greatest chance of making electric cars look cool. If you have read this blog, you probably know that I favor other forms of renewable energy above electric propulsion. But electric cars racing in urban environments is the most exciting use for them yet. Since the batteries can’t last an entire race, Each team will have two cars that the driver can switch between, making pit stops more of a factor than in normal racing.
Perhaps the most exciting part of this series is that it is new. It seems like motorsport has been fairly stagnant recently, with most series sticking to a formula established long ago. But innovative new races have been working to change that, like Robby Gordon’s truck races, and now Formula E. It may crash and burn, but who knows? this is the most exciting thing to happen to electric cars since the early 1900’s. Let’s just hope it’s loud enough.