Formula E brings racing back to Switzerland
Switzerland may be the host of the Geneva Motor Show, but it has no major automotive manufacturers to speak of and it hasn’t hosted a race in decades. But, the last part is about to change.
Formula E will bring its electric cars to Switzerland in June next year for a race in Zurich. This “Zurich ePrix” will be the first car race held in Switzerland in over 60 years. Racing was banned in Switzerland for decades, but in 2015 changes were made to the relevant laws that then allowed for electric racing. As with other Formula E races, the venue for the Zurich ePrix will likely be a temporary track laid out on city streets.
The Zurich race will be part of Formula E’s fourth season. It begins in December and lasts to the end of July 2018. The season kicks off in Hong Kong on 2 and 3 December. Other races will be held in Marrakesh, Santiago, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Rome, Paris, Berlin, New York City and Montreal.
As manufacturers gear up to build more electric road cars, Formula E is attracting more attention from manufacturers. This season, Audi will field its own Formula E team for the first time. BMW will manufacture powertrains for the Andretti Autosport team for the 2018-19 season and Mercedes-Benz and Porsche will also join the series in 2019.
Porsche will race in Formula E in place of its successful 24 Hours of Le Mans campaign, while Mercedes will pull out of the German DTM race series.
Formula E serves as a good marketing platform for new electric cars. Jaguar, who joined the series last year, will sell only hybrid and all-electric cars after 2020. BMW will launch 12 new all-electric models by 2025 and Mercedes plans to produce a hybrid or all-electric version of virtually every car it makes by 2022. The Volkswagen Group, which also owns Audi and Porsche, plans to add hybrid or all-electric variants to every model in its vast line-up by 2030.
Formule E racing cars mixing it in Paris last year.