Formula E video: is this the future of motorsport?

23 May, 2014 2:10pm

With electric power and street-only circuits, could Formula E be the blueprint for motorsport in years to come?

Formula E is a unique contest between futuristic cars - one that could completely redefine how we view motorsport and the car itself.

Rather than the silence you might have expected, Formula E cars produce a relatively high electric whine. It's less of an assault on the eardrums than its F1 counterpart as it's about 50 decibels quieter. That's because instead of a 1.6-litre V6 turbo engine and two energy recovery systems, this car uses an electric battery known as the Rechargeable Energy Storage System, or 'RESS', to power the wheels via an electric motor.

According to official figures, the maximum output of the electric power train when it comes to race-day will be 200 kilowatts - the equivalent of 270bhp. Flat out, a Formula E car is expected to see off 0-62mph in approximately three seconds, before reaching an FIA-limited top speed of 140mph.

While it's not quite F1 pace, it's easily enough power to make things interesting when the first of the 10 city circuit races gets underway later this year in Beijing.

Formula E will undoubtedly be a challenge. Not only will practice, qualifying and the race all take place on the same day, drivers are also going to swap cars mid-race - a result of the limited battery life currently available.

There'll also be a limit on power during the one hour races. Again, that's partly to save energy, but also to encourage overtaking, with drivers able to use a 'Push to Pass' system to briefly access their car's full power, which serves a similar purpose to Formula 1's KERS system.

Purists may argue that Formula E isn't racing, and there will be complaints about the perceived lack of performance. However, Formula E isn't trying to rival F1. From mandatory pit stops so drivers can change cars, to a short calendar of street only races, this is an entirely different prospect.

Disqus - noscript

No......No chance at all...........

Another gimmick, should be termed by
the reviewer 0 emissions while running, as the making of the battery
takes a lot of power, the charging of it takes a lot more power, and
it is a dirty process to scrap the battery, its false economy and it
won't be exciting.

2 things drive progress - war and competition.

To many, these cars will seem like a huge backwards step - the cost of batteries, CO and CO2 emissions in manufacturing, production of electricity to charge them, disposing of the spent batteries etc - but take a look at how far the top racing formulas have come since the 1930s (or 90s for that matter).

Yes, Formula E has a long way to go, but competition will lead to new technological break-throughs which will benefit Joe Public in the long run. As the cost of petrol seems to increase exponentially (as do the various so-called 'green taxes'), any such sport that brings in huge levels of private investment to push the boundaries of current technology can only be a good thing for us all.

Indeed it's a fledgling sport, but watch this space in 10 years time and see if it's not up there with F1 of today.

Every 5 laps so-called vehicles will pit remove one wheel add mixing blades and driver must whip up a souffle followed by a lemon pound cake.

Why can't they put induction charging strips on the track out of the racing zone where cars get get a boost kinda like Wipeout? that would be awesome

AEX 1330
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