One very exciting development is the “formulation” of the first ever electric car race, Formula E (aka e-Prix). The race is sanctioned by FIA, French for the International Automobile Federation; the same organization that licenses and arbitrates Formula 1 racing. Formula E is intended to be the highest level of competition for single-seat, electrically powered cars and races will be covered by Fox Sports. A total of ten races involving ten teams have been scheduled around the globe beginning September 13, 2014 in Beijing, China.
The cars all adhere to the same “formula”, which not only includes rules for chassis and suspension construction, body dimensions, and motor type but also battery specifications. The race is scheduled to last 45 minutes and includes a planned pit stop to change cars when the battery runs out. Between the pit stop criteria and the car performance specifications, the race may not seem that impressive compared to Formula 1 and other car races. However, races play an important role in advancing the development of car technology and it is hoped that a successful Formula E will help accomplish that for electric car technology.
Another electric car race dubbed the EV Cup involving three different classes of electric vehicles (EVs) had been in the works but continued delays in car deliveries scuttled the plan in 2011. The EV Cup was being driven by a new company called EEVRC Ltd but there has been no word as to whether or not the race series will still be pursued. Clearly a disappointment but, with any luck, this or other electric car races will be established to further assist in EV technology development.
More information can be found at the official website for Formula E.