Eco racing seems to have gotten a big boost in the guise of Formula E, an FIA sanctioned race series to start in 2014 featuring electrically powered cars. The FIA is hoping to have ten teams with two drivers to each team. The races are likely to take place on street courses around the world, with Rio and Rome being two such cities. The cars are capable of 135mph and battery powered. The cars are little heavy, weighing around 100kgs more than a F1 car on account of their batteries.
The only problem with the series is the cars themselves. The races are an hour long, but the battery packs only last 25 minutes, so drivers don’t have tire changes, they have car changes. The plan is for the drivers to jump from one car then run a 100-metres and get in their second car. It sounds a little hokey, but not as hokey as each team being lumbered with having run four cars for two drivers. For me, it’s a really bad selling point. It shows how far we haven’t come with electric vehicles.
However, I’m interested to see where this championship goes. As much as I love my gas-powered cars, I know something’s got to change. I think electric vehicles will be the future, but I don’t think the “battery pack” approach is the way to go. I hope developments like this will lead to technological developments that will mean we’ll have an alternatively powered vehicle that is just as flexible their gas powered counterparts.
Here's the car in action: