Formula E racing coming - at last

2014-03-10 09:20
The Spark-Renault SRT-01E will race in Formula E. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

The Spark-Renault SRT-01E will race in Formula E. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Barcelona - Electric car racing will finally take off this year, after more than two years of delays.

Formula E racing, composed of single seat electric powered cars, similar to those in Formula 1 will hit the streets of Beijing in September this year.

"Formula E is starting on September 13 in Beijing; it's going to be 10 races in 10 cities," a representative told News24.

The race will also travel to Los Angeles, Miami, Buenos Aires and of course, Monte Carlo, among other cities.

The series will be run along the lines of Formula 1 with 10 teams competing in an open championship, including former F1 champion Alain Prost as team principal of e.dams.

In the early planning of the series, it was expected that the series would also travel to SA, for a race in one of the major centres, but that did not make the final cut.


Electric car technology in racing presents unique challenges because in order to achieve performance, the batteries will be pushed resulting in a relatively short duration.

"The race will be done in one hour because the battery lasts 20 to 30 minutes, and they're going to change cars," said the representative.

However the expectation is that the racing will boost the development of electric car technology, in much the same way as racing had benefits for the internal combustion engine.

"As well as encouraging competition, it is hoped that by making the Championship a multi-make series it will serve as a framework for research and development around the electric vehicle and push the boundaries of the technology that is currently available," the organisationsaid.

The official Beijing rack is set to be revealed on Wednesday.

The first car approved for the racing is the Spark-Renault SRT-01E, which has a 0 - 100km/h acceleration time of three seconds, and a top speed limited to 225km/h.

The lithium-ion batteries will be provided by Williams Advanced Engineering and the powertrain will be supplied by McLaren Electronic Systems.

Check out this short video of the race car on display at the recent Mobile World Congress in Spain.

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