Spotlight on Formula E as electric cars gear up for grid
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.