ELEC­TRIC AV­ENUE

Wheels - - Head Start [People] - Roroberto Gior­danelli OUOUR MAN IN EUROPE

Elec­tric rac­ing cars.

What­ever next…? For­get Scalex­tric, I mean full-size, bat­tery-pow­ered, sin­gle-seater rac­ing cars. We are only a few months away from the launch of th­ese silent slip­stream­ers. OK, so it may be like watch­ing mo­tor rac­ing on TV with the sound switched off, but hey, some­times things have to change… The green spec­trum is wide. There are those who have no in­ter­est in be­ing green, and oth­ers who ded­i­cate their lives to me­thod­i­cally re­cy­cling their rub­bish and wear­ing veg­e­tar­ian shoes. The lat­ter hate con­ven­tional motorsport. And they will also hate elec­tric motorsport. The FIA has ap­proved For­mula E. This is a one-make global cham­pi­onship that will hold demon­stra­tion races to­wards the end of 2013, prior to its first sea­son be­gin­ning in Septem­ber 2014. The races will take place in the cities of Lon­don, Rome, Rio de Janeiro, Los An­ge­les, Mi­ami, Bei­jing, Pu­tra­jaya in Malaysia, Bangkok and Buenos Aires. Al­though the Mid­dle East is ab­sent from the list, it might be worth keep­ing an eye on For­mula E’s im­pact. There will be 10 teams. Each team will have two driv­ers and four cars. The on-board bat­ter­ies won’t last the race dis­tance, so pit­stops will in­volve chang­ing cars. The orig­i­nal car is then boost-charged for the fi­nal third stint while the sec­ond-stint car is rac­ing. Such is the torque de­liv­ered by elec­tric mo­tors that a For­mula E can ac­cel­er­ate from 0-100kph in un­der 3.0 sec­onds, with a top speed of 220kph. The cars will be liv­er­ied as Re­naults; get­ting a man­u­fac­turer on board is im­pres­sive. The chas­sis will be built by Ital­ian sin­gle­seater supre­mos Dal­lara, and McLaren will sup­ply the mo­tors, trans­mis­sion and elec­tron­ics. With lit­tle un­der­stand­ing of the laws of physics, en­vi­ron­ment en­thu­si­asts are seem­ingly un­aware that elec­tric­ity comes from power sta­tions; an en­ergy source that is usu­ally far more pol­lut­ing than burn­ing petrol in an in­ter­nal ccom­bus­tion engine. How­ever, one day this may nonot be the case. And you have to start some­wher­some­where. So let us fin­ish by wish­ing For­mula E the very best of luck.

“En­vi­ron­ment en­thu­si­asts are seem­ingly un­aware that elec­tric­ity comes from power sta­tions; an en­ergy source that is usu­ally far more pol­lut­ing than burn­ing petrol in an in­ter­nal com­bus­tion engine.”

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