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This could grow into a worthy rival to Formula One. It’s the all-electric Formula E

The first series of Formula E will run from Sept 2014 to June 2015.  It has ten team spots, all taken, and each with two drivers.  Several celebrities are involved, including Richard Branson and most recently Leo DiCaprio.  The first race will take place in Beijing, and other venues include Rio, Buenos Aires, Los Angeles and Miami, and it will close in London.

This will be an “open” championship, meaning that teams are not restricted, as they are in Formula One, to the same engines and the same basic technology.  In Formula E they will be able to use different drive-trains, though there are basic specs that all teams must comply with.  One effect of this will be to speed up the development of new electric vehicle technology.  Unlike Formula One, drivers at pit stops will not just replace tyres or batteries, but will be able to change to an identical ready-to-go replacement car.

The above movie shows the Spark-Renault clocking in at the mandated 800kg.  Its output is 240hp, which it can use in practice qualifying, but it can only use 180hp while racing, except for “push-to-pass” opportunities.  Top speeds are estimated at about 140 mph.  The model shown in the above video was restricted in the test to only 25 percent of its power.  You’ll note that Formula E is refreshingly quieter than Formula One!  And I rather think it will be less of a health hazard to watch races in real life rather than on TV.

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One Response

  1. I would certainly enjoy watching these races now that Mr Murdoch has stopped me watching F1. But I would be worried about the high pitch noise, even on the video clip it seemed a dangerously high level.

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