Spot­light on For­mula E as elec­tric cars gear up for grid

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - NEWS -

AS the gov­ern­ing body of mo­tor­sport world­wide and the rep­re­sen­ta­tive of 60 mil­lion road and track users, the Fédéra­tion In­ter­na­tionale de l’Au­to­mo­bile is not an or­gan­i­sa­tion that is gen­er­ally as­so­ci­ated with clean, green mo­tor­ing.

But the FIA, as it is more com­monly known, is start­ing to take its en­vi­ron­men­tal re­spon­si­bil­i­ties very se­ri­ously, as wit­nessed by an event held at Sil­ver­stone re­cently when it hosted a For­mula E fo­rum on the fu­ture of hy­brid and elec­tric mo­tor­sport.

The FIA For­mula E Cham­pi­onship, in as­so­ci­a­tion with FIA WEC (World En­durance Cham­pi­onship) gath­ered to­gether 120 guests in­clud­ing David Richards, chair­man of As­ton Martin and Pro­drive, and drivers Jaime Alguer­suari, Lu­cas di Grassi, Vi­tan­to­nio Li­uzzi, Ni­co­las Prost and Bruno Senna.

The au­di­ence was also given an ex­clu­sive pre­view of the elec­tric For­mula E car cur­rently un­der con­struc­tion. It features an Ital­ian Dal­lara chas­sis – as used in For­mula 3 – Miche­lin tyres and a pow­er­train de­signed and built by McLaren. Demon­stra­tions of the first cars be­gin this year, fol­lowed by the first of­fi­cial For­mula E elec­tric car race in 2014. The FIA cham­pi­onship will race on street cir­cuits world­wide. Venues so far se­lected in­clude Lon­don, Rome, Mi­ami, Los An­ge­les, Pu­tra­jaya, Bei­jing, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro.

Two teams rep­re­sent­ing Bri­tain and China have been an­nounced, be­com­ing the first of what will be a 10-team grid for the first sea­son.

For­mula E aims to pro­mote gen­eral aware­ness around sus­tain­abil­ity. It also in­tends to serve as a frame­work for R&D into elec­tric ve­hi­cles and ac­cel­er­ate gen­eral in­ter­est in th­ese cars for per­sonal use.

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