Shopping? Check out our latest product comparisons

FIA Formula E Championship for EVs looking likely for 2013

By

October 30, 2011

Kleenspeed's 160 mph EV-X11

Kleenspeed's 160 mph EV-X11

Image Gallery (4 images)

The FIA, governing body of internal-combustion-engined motorsport, appears to have finally recognized the bleeding obvious (that electric vehicles will become mainstream) and is planning a high profile electric racing championship series beginning in 2013 - FIA Formula E Championship. The series has not been publicly framed as yet so it is not known if the series will be run at the same venues as the Formula One series but it can be expected to be held at a range of international venues and will logically serve as the first official championship for electric vehicles.

It is not known if any of the established manufacturers with roadgoing electric vehicles will participate.

Hybrid manufacturers such as Toyota, Peugeot, Audi and Porsche are already mounting efforts to successfully race hybrid race efforts in sportscar racing over the next few years, and throughout history, the "win on Sunday, sell on Monday" axiom has been true.

Hence it is not unlikely that more mainstream EV manufacturers will compete in the event, though it must be said that mainstream motorcycle manufacturers with electric motorcycles and scooters in the works, such as Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, BMW and KTM all passed on the opportunity to make history with the first TTxGP race at the Isle of Man a few years back.

Who might participate in such an electric car racing series?

The fastest electric race car in the world at the moment is KleenSpeed's EV-X11 (pictured) and the company has already indicated it will become involved in the championship. There are however a number of intending large volume EV distributors with race efforts in other fields.

You only get to make history by winning the first race once so the 2013 Formula E championship represents a significant PR opportunity.

Hence a concerted EV race effort might yield a competitive advantage in the EV road car field.

The most potential probably exists at the Renault-Nissan Alliance, and Nissan's luxury brand Infiniti which will almost certainly produce an EV shortly. The alliance already has more roadgoing EVs in production than any other manufacturer - the Renault Twizy ZE, Renault Kangoo ZE range of commercial vehicles, the Renault Fluence ZE and Renault Zoe ZE, plus Nissan's LEAF. Renault is also the company that has produced the winning Formula 1 car engine for the last two years, and a very healthy technical and marketing relationship with Red Bull Racing. A relationship with Red Bull Racing to tackle EV racing would also bring into play the services of Adrian Newey, the most successful designer of racing cars in Formula One history.

Any manufacturer with an eye on the future EV road market would probably find advantage in going EV racing to snare the important first mover advantage in a high profile race series - Tesla and Toyota, BMW, Mercedes/smart, BMW/MINI, Honda, Audi, Tata, Ford, General Motors and Chrysler/Fiat could all benefit.

The FIA is finalizing the Technical Terms and Conditions that will form the basis of a new Call for Expressions of Interest which is expected in the first quarter of 2012. Each manufacturer will be requested to produce a minimum number of cars in order to guarantee a minimum field, and a "balance of performance" system would be put in place in order to guarantee the sporting interest of the Championship.

This Call for Expressions of Interest will be issued to identify and shortlist (at the latest in April 2012) those manufacturers that are in a position to commit to take part in the 2013 FIA Formula E Championship, either directly or/and via teams.

Tags
12 Comments

What's the fun in an all electric car race? None. Not a race I would go see.

Rocky Stefano
31st October, 2011 @ 04:31 am PDT

Are you kidding me, Rocky?

A: people will watch damn near anything race. I am guessing that it is hard wired somehow.

B: Racing expands the techincal horizon in about every field I can think of, be it wheelchairs, skiis, swimsuits, or whatever. If there were a slip-n-slid World Championship Series people would watch it and people would slip and slide faster every year.

EV racing is a no-brainer.

Alan Belardinelli
31st October, 2011 @ 06:53 am PDT

Let FIA bleed - no loss. EVs have been around for too long and FIA has chosen to ignore them. They don't deserve the opportunity. Let them stay in the fossil fuel age and die a natural death.

CliffG
31st October, 2011 @ 09:26 am PDT

@Alan: IF?

http://slipnslidechampionship.com/

Alas, it's only nationals.

Maybe we can petition for an Electric Slip-n-Slide competition next year...

Jeff Kroll
31st October, 2011 @ 01:15 pm PDT

the electric car doesn't bring a lot of noise to a racetrack, but it does bring a bunch of tourqe. i think the racing will be fun to watch, and without deafening engines you can hear the tires working as hard as they do. i think that would be a great detail to hear.

johnweythek
31st October, 2011 @ 02:47 pm PDT

I think it would show that electric vehicles are no slow pokes but a viable alternative to ICE race cars; IMO.

BigWarpGuy
31st October, 2011 @ 05:06 pm PDT

Ummm... Actually the FIA have been promoting alternative fuel for over a decade...

They have had a panel investigating EV's since the early 2000's and a committee was formed about 4 years ago to promote EV racing...

So the article is slightly incorrect....

Andy W. Hong Kong.

Andrew Windebank
31st October, 2011 @ 06:29 pm PDT

There has been an international eBike championship , so not a first

mcc_graham
31st October, 2011 @ 07:24 pm PDT

This is only going to be any good IF they source their own power from their own renewable power supplies - like the amoount of power you can get from a bunch of solar cells on a 2 car garage with wind turbines etc - otherwise it's a 30% efficiency from the coal burners.

And we know how close to extinction we are... don't we.

Offering free entry for all the people riding bicycles, or who drive electric vehicles or who obtain their power from renewable sources - would be a good idea.

Mr Stiffy
31st October, 2011 @ 09:03 pm PDT

@Jeff... alright then... Would seem that there is a racing corollary of rule 34 :)

Alan Belardinelli
1st November, 2011 @ 07:46 am PDT

Hopefully the class will have the rules as open as possible so that will continually see improvements to design and performance.

A weight limit for the batteries is probably the only major rule I would have to keep costs under control.

Stephen Colbourne
9th November, 2011 @ 09:14 pm PST

To Mr Stiffy. (like) Locally sourced power in the firstyear would be ok, but in the near future each competitor must produce their own power on site totalky polution free. ie; draw nothing from the environment and leave nothing when they go.

pointyup
1st December, 2012 @ 09:18 pm PST
Post a Comment

Login with your gizmag account:

Or Login with Facebook:


Related Articles
Looking for something? Search our 28,217 articles