FIA goes green


But would that be the best venue for a new electric race car series?

The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), organizer of Formula One races, World Rally Championship and World Touring Car Championship among others is looking to expand their reach to include the Formula E Championship for 100% electric cars.

According to their press release, launch of the series will be in 2013, possibly as soon as 18 months from now. FIA is looking to receive expressions of interest by October 14, 2011, have discussions with candidates through mid-November, 2011 with selected candidates notified by December 15, 2011. This seems like an extremely aggressive timeline to us, but what do we know? We really don’t know how many candidates may already fit the requirements. So… what are those requirements?

  • Fully electric drivetrain
  • Single seaters
  • Demonstrate technical leadership (what… being electric doesn’t already demonstrate that?)
  • Include innovative road safety technology
  • Low weight and low drag
  • Run 15 minute races, perform similarly to Formula 3, and weigh 780 kilograms (1716 pounds) with driver

According to the FIA, their objectives include promoting themselves (naturally), providing a showcase for the stakeholders, attracting wide public interest, providing credible competition and ultimately, be profitable.

While Formula One racing is popular globally, for most in the U.S. – not so much. Quick, name the last venue for an F1 race in the U.S.*

While we are strong believers in competition improving the breed, open wheel racing is a far cry from those vehicles that people drive everyday. We believe that this is the appeal of NASCAR, from the National Sprint Cup Series down to the regional and local level. It seems that more people can more readily identify with the cars on the track. And as much as we are not fans of NASCAR racing, that venue could be much better suited to the promotion of a full bodied 100% electric race car competitive championship. Also, since NASCAR is already in place in almost all parts of the country with many levels of series from local to national, we feel that it could be easier to incorporate an electric car series into existing Saturday night races.

NISMO LEAF on track

While Nissan’s developmental NISMO LEAF is not, strictly speaking, a racing version of the road going LEAF, it could offer the basis for a spec series or Nissan’s entry into some full bodied NASCAR series. What do you say NASCAR?

*(Indianapolis 2007. Can anyone say “disaster of 2005?”).

This entry was posted in Fun!, Industry News, International, Is the Nissan LEAF right for me?, Other EVs. Bookmark the permalink.

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