Home » The Acceleration of Formula E: A Racing Sport for Green Motorists

The Acceleration of Formula E: A Racing Sport for Green Motorists

Formula E championship

Whether you are a sportscar aficionado or a novice driver, you will agree that there is nothing more exciting than attending a motor racing event. With the thunderous roars of powerful engines, the constant overtaking at every tight corner, and speedy homestretches towards the chequered line, spectators are kept on the edge of their seats at every lap.  

As technology continues to progress, we are spoilt with more and more innovative automotive creations. Not only are cars fitted with avant-garde infotainment and sleek features, but manufacturers are also working hard to keep in step with the times. It is no secret that climate change is putting our planet to the test, and therefore car brands are adding greener models to their catalogues. With modern electric and hybrid vehicles such as the Aston martin db11 , more eco-friendly and snazzy motors are populating our roads and circuits.

When it comes to motor racing, Formula E is leading the way in the world of sportscar tournaments. Sister of the popular Formula One, the relatively new and ever-growing sport stages competitions between electric-powered race cars. But what is the mission behind the creation of the Formula E championship? How does it differ from the well-loved F1? 

Formula E: a great, green ambition

The thought of an all-electric street racing series originated in a Parisian locale in March 2011, just over a decade ago. Sitting at a restaurant table in the heart of the French capital, Spanish businessman Alejandro Agog and FIA President Jean Todt jotted down an extemporary idea about cleaner racing events. From a few scribbles on the back of a napkin, their ambitious dream soon turned into reality. 

Formula E is the world’s first all-electric, international single-seater tournament. Taking place in the most iconic metropolises across the globe, this sport has the aim to showcase how motor racing can play a significant role in preserving the environment. Ultimately, its mission is to demonstrate how driving green, electric vehicles can lead to a better, more sustainable future. 

By relying on eco-friendly motors, Formula E allows both sportsmen and sportswomen to curb harmful emissions and limit their carbon footprint. Not only that, but its increasing popularity is now incentivising manufacturers to design an array of electric and hybrid car systems. With rules and regulations that restrict the use of ‘traditional’ combustion engines, motorsport teams are shifting their attention towards the importance and beneficial aspects of electric power. In the long run, this will further aid the development of green production cars for drivers to enjoy along city roads and country lanes.

Prior to the launch of its inaugural racing series in 2014, Formula E unveiled its all-electric, open-wheel Gen1 car. Reaching 60mph in the space of three seconds (or less) and with an engine power of 150kW, this vehicle was the first of its kind in the motorsport field. Indeed, battery-electric technology had never been tested on a race track before. The outcome, however, proved that EV tech can easily guarantee speed, efficiency, and entertainment. What’s more, Formula E partnered with BMW to ensure that all vehicles – and not only the actual racing cars – are eco-friendly. The Safety Car, Medical Car, and Race Director Car all feature an electric-powered engine.

Over the years, and as seasons go by, the pollution-free technology behind Formula E cars becomes increasingly advanced, benefitting both the sport’s entertainment levels and sustainability objectives. As for the latter aspect, the results have been outstanding. Formula E has been the first sport to achieve a net zero carbon footprint since its inception. From finding ways to extend the end-of-life of lithium-ion battery cells to eliminating single-use plastics on site, Formula E is the first racing category to have been granted the ISO 20121 certification for sustainable events. 

Formula E vs Formula One

Alongside MotoGP, Formula One has enchanted and excited audiences for countless years. From Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher to Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton, many drivers have swerved through slick tracks and graced the eyes of fans all over the world.

In comparison with Formula One, Formula E is still an emerging competition. However, it is fair to say that the all-electric motorsport is quickly enthralling spectators on the stands and on the sofas. Television audience figures for the 2021 season have increased significantly, and its following is growing by 32% year on year. In the UK, live audiences jumped by 156% during Formula E’s sixth season (2019/2020), as BBC2 and Channel 4 broadcast two races each that year – and people’s interest is bound to rise even further.

But what is driving motorists’ fascination? Formula E’s search for innovation, in this respect, is certainly having an important impact. As well as focusing on the development of high-tech EVs for its own races, the sport is striving to assist and enhance the future of transportation on the whole. Not only is Formula E encouraging the use of electric and clean automobiles, but it is also paving the way towards the manufacturing of connected, data-sharing, and self-driving cars. Ultimately, this sport is acting as a constant testbed for futuristic and sustainable technologies. 

As for the thrill and unpredictability of its tournaments, it is successfully competing with Formula One. In truth, with Formula E there is more room for excitement and surprise triumphs. Due to specific restrictions on the technology and type of engines that can be used, all Formula E cars have a very similar – if not the same – battery and chassis. This means that there is less disparity between the vehicles, and it is almost exclusively down to the driver to steer their way towards victory. With Formula One, instead, having the ‘best’ car often maximises the athlete’s chance of winning. Hence, the final podium tends to be more predictable.

With the honourable mission of making motorsports greener and more eco-friendly, Formula E is the perfect pastime for environmentally-conscious car enthusiasts. Not only are its protagonists nullifying their carbon footprint, but they are also providing audiences with races that are both thrilling and rich in unexpected turning points.     

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