13 Feb Formula E: The Future of Motorsports
13 September 2014 marked a turning point for motorsports. Electric cars descended on the roads in Beijing, China for the first ePrix of Formula E, the all-electric street racing series.
The idea started out as nothing more than a few words on a napkin in a restaurant in Paris. This was the beginning of what became the world’s first all-electric international single-seater championship. The series was developed as a means to demonstrate the potential of sustainable mobility to help create a better, cleaner world.
Fast forward five years, Formula E is now in its fifth season and sees the introduction of the Gen2 race car. Teams will visit 12 different countries ahead of the season final in New York in July and now offers an all-new car, revised regulations to mix up the racing and batteries that can last an entire race.
“I think the future of the industry is going electric, so I think Formula E will be the championship that is related to the car industry,” said the sport’s chairman, Alejandro Agag. “In that sense it will be the most relevant championship in terms of transfer of technology.”
Formula E is becoming more popular each year amongst motorsports, in 2017-18, more than 300 million viewers globally tuned into at least one Formula E race. The number is significantly higher than the 18.6 million viewers per race for the 2016-17 season. With the growing popularity, it’s no surprise that now other motorsport championships are starting to follow.
Automotive manufacturers are aware of the trend towards a new and responsible mobility, especially with the government announcing all new diesel and petrol cars will be banned in the UK from 2040 in a bid to tackle air pollution. While that’s good news for the environment, it means there’s pressure on manufacturers to develop electric vehicles.
This is one of the main reasons why Jaguar became involved with Formula E. They joined the championship in Season 3 and were one of the first teams in the championship to bring out an electric road car. Its involvement in the sport played a part in the vehicle’s development. What Jaguar have learnt in Formula E will ultimately make cars that drive more efficiently and faster.
Here at Dawson Shanahan, we have a long history with electric vehicles and even the motorsports industry. We have provided grass roots support for UK engineering by sponsoring a school competing in Formula 24. Our aim is to inspire young engineers and promote engineering as a future career in a number of different ways, one of which is the Greenpower Formula 24 electric car racing event.
With the recent developments in the automotive industry, at the moment, no one truly knows what will happen with the motorsports industry. Will other motorsport championships start following in the footsteps of Formula E and create an all-electric championship?