Fans of motorsports are all familiar with the F1; the highest class of international motorsport racing. But how many of you are familiar with Formula E – the equivalent sport within the electric vehicle industry. With many nations looking towards bans on combustion engines in the 2030s, it might be time to get yourself well acquainted with this environmentally friendly motorsport.
What is Formula E?
In the simplest terms, Formula E is the single-seater motorsport championship for electric cars. The main intention of Formula E is to test out new race technology, before it’s rolled out to the general public. In the beginning, Formula E’s mission was to show what sustainable motoring was capable of, by having the best teams and drivers race through the streets of the world’s most iconic cities. Today, it has become the fastest growing motorsport in the world.
Differences to Formula 1
Whilst the basic premise of both motorsports is the same, Formula E has brand new features that Formula 1 doesn’t.
Firstly, fans actually have some control over the race. They can vote on social media for their favourite driver, prior to the race beginning. The driver who wins the pole gets a short power boost to use whenever they want. This could be the difference between winning and losing the race.
Additionally, Formula E also features “Attack Mode”. To access Attack Mode, drivers must drive through the Activation Zone. As a reward for taking the slower line at the corner, drivers are given an extra 50kW of power (350kW rather than 300kW). Drivers can use this extra power to extend their lead or climb their way up the pack.
The format of a Formula E event also differs slightly from Formula 1. All of the elements that make up an event take place in a single day. This means that the practice session, qualifying and the main event are all one after the other.
Impact on Formula 1
Earlier this year, F1’s CEO, Stefano Domenceli, went on record to say that the motorsport will never be completely electric. However, work needs to be done to ensure that F1 is still meeting the regulations in various EU countries concerning combustion engines and carbon emissions. Many anticipate that F1 will begin to rely on hybrid engines that are pulled more to the electric side. There is also the idea that synthetic or biofuels will be used more widely, which are more carbon neutral.
Moving beyond the track
Many car manufacturers have actually taken their Formula E efforts into consideration when designing electric vehicles for use by the public. For example, the Jaguar I-Pace was developed from technology used on the Jaguar I-Type. Audi’s e-tron was originally unveiled as a concept design for an electric car in 2010, before the technology was used for their Formula E vehicles. Now, a range of e-tron vehicles are available to hire from EVision.
Right now, Formula E doesn’t have the same following as Formula 1. As we see the EU implement more laws around the use of combustion engines, we will naturally see the floor open for Formula E to take centre stage, potentially even becoming the world’s major motorsport. However, don’t expect to hire an electric car from Formula E from EVision any time soon.
If you do want to rent an electric car for yourself, get in touch with our team to discuss your needs.