A popular conception is that gas vehicles will eventually give way to plug in electric vehicles. IDTechEx Research sees a different end game.
Electric vehicles will ultimately move towards being completely energy independent - harvesting all the energy they need from the light, wind, vibration and heat around them.
So-called Energy Independent Vehicles are making great strides, and none so much as the Nuna Solar Racing car, which has won the Bridgestone World Solar Racing competition six out of eight times since 2001, crossing over 3000 km (1,860 miles) in Australia, powered wholly by the solar panels across its structure. At each contest the vehicle is replaced and improved, evolving from the year before with new technology.
The vehicle is now being brought to the US for the first time and was unveiled at the IDTechEx Show!, at the Santa Clara Convention Center. The event brought together technology innovations that are addressing the world's biggest problems, from energy harvesting to autonomous vehicles to skin-like flexible electronics to pervasive sensors. Presentations also include insights from Toyota, Porsche, Nissan, BYD, Ford, Panasonic, Siemens, NASA and over 200 other leading global companies.
The Nuna Solar racing car is arguably one of the most energy efficient electric vehicles in the world, with a skin of photovoltaics and a partly 3D printed body. The ongoing development innovation has led to five companies being spun out so far from the Nuon team who developed it.
Raghu Das, CEO of IDTechEx, the analyst and events firm organizing IDTechEx Show! reports, "Showing the world's most efficient electric vehicle for the first time in the US is hugely exciting, particularly in Silicon Valley which is becoming a new center for mobility transformation thanks to new technologies and new business models."
"The IDTechEx Show! covered the transformative new technologies enabling electric vehicles and ultimately energy independent vehicles ranging including super lightweighting, structural electronics, energy harvesting, energy storage innovations and vehicle designs."
Mahindra racing sets sustainability benchmark
for Formula E teams
Mahindra Racing has become the first Formula E team to achieve accreditation in the FIA Institute’s Sustainability Program.
The team has attained ‘Progress Towards Excellence’ status from its first audit within the program’s framework, which is aimed at helping motorsport stakeholders worldwide to measure and enhance their environmental performance.
This achievement is particularly significant as it coincides with the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (COP22) in Morocco. This weekend’s Marrakesh ePrix aims to further highlight environmental sustainability through vehicle technology development in the world’s first fully electric global racing series.
With a clear aim to become carbon neutral from 2018, Mahindra Racing is just the second motorsport team in the world to be accredited.
Auditors were impressed by Mahindra Racing’s commitment to minimizing its environmental impact through a strong environmental policy and specific improvement targets. The team has been encouraged to monitor and implement the current routines in an efficient manner to help attain the highest level of accreditation, Achievement of Excellence. Based on its recent assessment, auditors are confident the team could achieve this objective.
Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group said, “We were drawn to Formula E by its commitment to the development of sustainable and clean mobility solutions, and are honored to become the very first Formula E team to be accredited by the FIA Institute’s Sustainability Program. This is another example of the Mahindra Group’s deep and growing commitment to sustainability across its businesses, and an important milestone in our journey toward the Future of Mobility.”
Garry Connelly, FIA Institute Deputy President and Environmental Ambassador said, “As the first Formula E team to become accredited in the initiative, I congratulate Mahindra for its efforts and commitment to sustainability. As ever when it comes to the environment there is always more that we can do and I encourage the other teams in the all-electric series to follow the example set by Mahindra and sign up to join the program.”
Dilbagh Gill, Team Principal, Mahindra Racing Formula E Team said, “This is something that we genuinely believe in at Mahindra. Environmental sustainability requires a good system of practices and it is part of the ethos in our wider organization. As Mahindra Racing, the youngest arm of the Mahindra Group, we look forward to working towards attaining the top level of Sustainability Accreditation and further underlining our position as one of the most progressive Formula E teams.”
A full list of existing organizations that have been recognized by the FIA Institute against its best practice framework can be found here. Formula E was awarded Achievement of Excellence at the end of 2015 and was the first championship promoter to do so.
Mahindra Racing drivers Nick Heidfeld and Felix Rosenqvist will compete in the Marrakesh ePrix tomorrow, Saturday, 12 November, for race two of the 2016-17 FIA Formula E Championship.
One of the Largest Solar Power Installations in U.S. Professional Sports
Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) and Daytona International Speedway (DIS) today announced the completion of the FPL Solar Circuit, a system of more than 7,000 solar panels that generate electricity for the Speedway's operations and FPL's 4.8 million customer accounts when the sun is shining.
The FPL Solar Circuit's total generating capacity is approximately 2.1 megawatts (2,100 kilowatts), ranking the Speedway in the top five U.S. professional sports facilities for solar energy installations, according to data from the Solar Energy Industries Association.
"With innovative partners like FPL, DAYTONA Rising has transformed the Speedway into the world's first motorsports stadium," said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. "The FPL Solar Circuit complements the advanced technologies we've used to modernize the stadium and enhance the experience for race fans."
"We're honored to play a significant role in the redevelopment of such an iconic destination that hosts hundreds of thousands of visitors to our state each and every year and reaches millions of others around the globe," said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. "This partnership with the Speedway is a shining example of Florida's innovation and advanced economy for the world to see."
The FPL Solar Circuit is comprised of three canopy-like structures – located at the Midway, Sprint FANZONE and Lot 10 parking area – covered with solar panels. One of the largest distributed-generation installations in Florida, FPL Solar Circuit is helping to power the Speedway's operations and FPL's 4.8 million customers.
The clean energy generated by the installation will prevent the emission of an estimated 2,200 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year – equivalent to an average vehicle driving more than 2 million laps around DIS.
The FPL Solar Circuit is also equipped with high-tech data gathering equipment that will be used as part of a multi-year research study the utility is conducting to improve the integration of solar energy and smart grid technologies.
FPL currently operates three solar power plants and numerous smaller solar installations for a total of more than 110 megawatts of solar generation in Florida today. During 2016, the company is tripling its solar capacity, adding more than 225 megawatts of new solar capacity, including: three new solar power plants; major installations at the Speedway, Florida International University and other sites; and several smaller community-based arrays.
FPL is a subsidiary of Florida-based NextEra Energy, Inc., which is also the parent company of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC. NextEra Energy Resources is the Official Renewable Energy Provider of both Daytona International Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway.
100% EcoPowered Car Takes on Rally of Morocco
The participation of Acciona’s revamped 100% EcoPowered vehicle in this year’s Morocco Rally represents the first time an EV left the start line in a championship race within the world rally calendar.
Currently under way, the race runs over a route over 2,200 kilometres long, divided into five stages.
300 participants from 27 countries are currently battling everything the Drâa Valley has to throw at them and the inclusion of an electric vehicle this year has created a great deal of interest.
Acciona 100% EcoPowered is a T1-class rally car designed in accordance with all FIA/ASO technical and safety regulations.
The vehicle features a synchronous electric motor combination equivalent to 300 CV (around 296 hp). The AM Racing motor arrangement has a total weight of just 80kg as opposed to 280kg for an equivalent internal combustion engine.
Energy is stored in seven Tesla high-performance lightweight battery packs with a 60-minute fast charging capacity.
Solar panels are integrated into the bodywork, recharging the primary power supply system of the vehicle for the operation of various electronic components, navigation, lighting and communication systems. The collective output of the 12-volt PV modules is 100 watts.
Acciona 100% EcoPowered has a top speed of 150 km/h and a range of around 200 kilometres. Depending on the terrain, energy consumption of the vehicle ranges from 20 to 45 kWh/100 kilometres.
The vehicle also features a chrome-moly tubing chassis, servo-assisted steering and a carbon-fibre body.
“One of the main challenges of this project has been to keep the right calculations and to develop the design of the battery and electric power system in order to guarantee high autonomy in all kinds of terrain, without becoming a handicap regarding the dynamic behaviour of the vehicle,” says the team.
Driving the vehicle in this year’s event is Ariel Jatón, an Argentinean rally driver who also collaborated on the development of the car. He is accompanied by Gastón Scasuzzo, an electronics engineer and navigator for the journey.
Last year, Acciona EcoPowered was the first zero emissions electric vehicle to participate in the grueling Dakar Rally. Unfortunately, the team wasn’t able to complete the race – but it wasn’t a failing of the car per se; the navigation system malfunctioned
Further details on the Acciona 100% EcoPowered rally car can be viewed here.
Formula E Reveals Season Two Schedule
The second edition of the FIA series for single-seaters powered completely by electricity will get underway on Saturday October 17th this year in Beijing and will end in London, having travelled to at least nine different countries on three continents. Compared to last season, the main novelty is the appearance on the calendar of the Paris ePrix on April 23rd, which will take place on a circuit built up around the architectural complex of Les Invalides. The venue for the fifth round is still to be decided, while the absence of the Monaco ePrix is due to an alteration of dates with the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique, which takes place only on even-numbered years.
“We are pleased to confirm that the second season will again feature 11 ePrix,” commented Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E. “It’s an important sign of stability and it consolidates the presence of the Championship in the panoply of major global motorsport events run under the aegis of the FIA.”
“Over the past few months, we have received many indications of interest from numerous cities from all over the world, which is another confirmation of the extraordinary reception that Formula E has received all over the world during its first season,” added Agag. “We have chosen to keep the number of races the same, with the aim of planting even more solid roots in the cities which trusted in us right from the start. We have added one of the world’s most important capitals and an amazing city, Paris, which will be one of the highlights of the season. As for the location of the fifth round, the one on 19th March, we are working to maintain the same geographic allocation of races: the aim is to have a fourth ePrix on the American continent. The first season only ended a short time ago in the fantastic setting of Battersea Park in London and already we cannot wait to get the new season underway with FIA, the teams and our partners.”
Historical 1st For Electric Auto Racing in U.S.
as Formula E Arrived in Miami
MIAMI, USA (March 14 2015) - It was a day that got off to a nerve-wracking start and ended with plenty of excitement. The first Formula E race to be held in the USA saw Nico Prost triumph at the end of a duel that had the 20,000-strong crowd spellbound right up to the very end. The streets of Miami were packed, with tickets everywhere sold out, while millions of fans around the world watched on TV, computer or smartphone.
Prost is the fifth different winner in this maiden Formula E season: his name can be added to the list of Lucas Di Grassi (Beijing,) Sam Bird (Putrajaya,) Sebastien Buemi (Punta del Este) and Antonio Felix da Costa (Buenos Aires.) Making the Frenchman’s day even more special was the podium ceremony: handing him his trophy was a “rival” in the form of Virgin Group founder, Sir Richard Branson, while up there to take the team award was the victor’s father Alain.
A delay in getting the track completed created some early anxiety and meant that the two free practice sessions were delayed and run as one 30-minute session, but once that was sorted out, it was time for the show to go on. In qualifying, another Frenchman, Jean-Eric Vergne took the top spot he led the pack away into what would be a thrilling 39-lap race.
A major contender in the Miami ePrix was the local hero, Scott Speed. The American, driving for the Andretti team, was making his debut in the series. After a difficult qualifying saw him start from the fifth row, he staged a great climb up the order, thanks to a well executed strategy of energy management and some brave overtakes. First he got past Daniel Abt and then, he chased Prost right down to the final metre of the very last lap.
In the early stages all eyes were on a close duel between pole-man Vergne and Sam Bird, with Prost tailing the English Virgin driver. As the first stint was coming to an end, Bird made his move, overtaking Vergne with a great pass at Turn 5, after which the Frenchman opted to pit immediately. However, the run of pit stops was the undoing of two of the front runners, who found themselves down in the pack, with Abt taking the lead, shadowed by Prost and championship leader di Grassi.
With six laps to go, the two Audi Sport ABT drivers began to struggle compared to their rivals, who had more energy available: first Speed passed Di Grassi (lap 36) and then it was Abt who had to let Prost and the American pass on the penultimate lap. However, the German managed to salvage third place and thus make it to the podium for the first time this season. However, the final stages did not work out so well for his team-mate, who could only pick up the 2 points that come with ninth place.
Di Grassi thus loses the lead of the championship, handing it to today’s race winner, now out in front on 67 points, seven clear of the Brazilian. Bird, who crossed the line eighth, is now third in the general classification (52 points,) while Buemi, who failed to score today, is fourth on 43. Moving further ahead in the Team classification is e.dams-Renault: the French team now has 31 points in hand over Audi Sport ABT, which has Andretti hot on its heels, just one point behind.
There was a noteworthy performance from another newcomer, Frenchman Loïc Duval who, having started from the back row, finished seventh, while Nelson Piquet Jr. was fifth at the flag and took the two points that go with setting the fastest race lap.
After the excitement of Miami, Formula E continues its American journey. The sixth ePrix of the season will take place on 4 April at Long Beach, California.
Daytona International Speedway Going Solar
Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) and Daytona International Speedway (DIS) have announced plans to install a commercial-scale solar power system at the racetrack.
An accompaniment to the ongoing USD$400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project, the system will consist of more than 5,000 solar panels. These will be installed on multiple canopy-like structures that will offer shade to patrons while generating clean power for operations at the facility as well as exporting electricity to the mains grid for use by FPL customers.
Additionally, the installation will provide FPL with real-time and long-term data to assist the company in integrating more solar power into the grid in the future.
The project will avoid an estimated 2,200 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
“By partnering with the Speedway on this exciting project, we’re building a shining example of our affordable clean energy commitment and showcasing Florida’s innovation and advanced economy for the world,” said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL.
Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III says the project will “create a modern and advanced motorsports stadium while improving the fan experience.”
Daytona Speedway solar power
When complete, the 1.7 megawatt array will be the fifth-largest solar panel system at a U.S. professional sports facility and one of the largest in Florida. FPL says it plans to commence construction in the next few months and has set a goal of completing the system by the end of the year.
Daytona International Speedway won’t be the first racetrack in the USA to install solar. One of the first was a 3 megawatt facility constructed at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania in 2010. Last year, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Solar Farm (IMS) was completed and at 9MW, was at that point in time the largest solar power station at any sporting facility in the world.
Florida Power & Light is rapidly building its solar portfolio. In January, FPL announced plans to build three new solar power plants in Florida totaling approximately 225 megawatts of solar capacity; all of which will be operational by the end of this year. The addition of these facilities will see FPL triple its current portfolio of 110 megawatts of solar made up of three large-scale plants.
History was made this past weekend as the world’s first ever fully-electric single-seater race took place in Beijing, marking the successful season opener of the FIA Formula E Championship. And ReNewable Now was part of history as our team was there live covering this historical moment as our own Michael Pieirra provided commentary from track-side, and got to speak with Formula E, CEO Alejandro Agag.
But before you read Michael's article, we want you to know why we here at ReNewable Now are so excited and focused on Formula E, and why Formula E is extremely important for all of us. If you're familiar with the the sport of racing, you're probably already aware that the sport as a whole dwarfs all others sports, including World Cup Soccer. At the top of this hi-octane food chain is FORMULA 1, the most prestigious and most technologically advanced racing in the world. For any singular Grand Prix race within a Formula 1 season, the economic impact is in the billions when you look at the commerce that surrounds the teams, manufacturers, sponsors, venues, tourism, etc. This translates into creating jobs and careers, and more importantly, new technology that eventually makes it way into the cars consumers drive everyday on normal roads. If Formula 1's new cousin, Formula E, grows, we will see experiential growth in consumer electric cars, as major auto manufacturers such as Renault, BMW, Mercedes will be investing major R & D dollars behind these electric Formula E cars in efforts to win. This all means that this competition will advance the consumer electric car market ten fold. From performance to battery life and distance, consumer electric cars are going to get a lot better, a lot quicker. This is similar to the technology that evolved from NASA. Eventually what NASA created, tested, and applied has benefited the general public, and gave birth to many new companies that took that science and technology into other applications which we all use and take for granted today.
Beyond the economic potential and technology we can enjoy from Formula E, maybe one of the best attributes that comes from the sport is its environmentally friendly impact, NO FOSSIL FUELS, NO CARBON, NO OIL SLICKS, and limited noise. We know the hard core Formula 1 aficionados love the sound of those engines- we love it also, but we really get excited with technology and science, and hopefully that will be what brings the Formula 1 fans over to sports' younger cousin, Formula E, to enjoy some great racing and great drivers.
So we've shared with you why we're excited about Formula E, and why we feel it is important. We hope you'll become a fan and find something special about the sport that encourages us towards a more sustainable world, while enjoying a fun sport.
Formula E! Family Friendly! Exciting! And Clean! What More Could You Want?
It's ReNewable Now's pleasure to be brining you ongoing reporting of the Formula E season with our new channel "Track Side with Formula E." Here will provide you with coverage and commentary from every Formual E race the way we see it and in a way we hopefully we'll get you excited to support the sport. Over the next few months this channel will evolve and continue to provide you with reports as we lead towards the final race in the circuit.
Reporting for ReNewable Now for the inaugural, and history making Grand Prix of Formula E is our very own Michael Peira. Michael is managing ReNewable Now Asia, and with offices in Beijing's Dongcheng District.
Could I feel the electricity in the air? Well I guess you could say I could not only feel it, I could see it - literally. The electricity was on four wheels speeding around downtown Beijing's iconic Olympic ‘Bird’s Nest’ Stadium at speeds in excess of 150 MPH. The buildup for this historical event in Beijing was unprecedented, and it reminded me of the when the city hosted the Olympics. You had racing teams, fans, and journalist from all over the world coming to the city and spending anywhere from one to three weeks here giving Beijing that international feel that I recall so well from the Olympics.
From a local perspective having lived in Beijing for nearly seven years, I could sense the feeling of pride and leadership Beijingers feel at hosting this historic motor sport event. Beijing made a global statement on Sunday telling the world that Beijing, and all of China, stand behind electric cars, and that they are aggressively pushing towards electric powered vehicles. So if we read between the lines here and if you do a bit of research you will see Chinese manufacturers are already positioning themselves to dominate the electric car market. They see this not only as a smart business move, but also a need when addressing their own air quality issues that have profoundly affected their country.
As I made my way through the Formula E Village, I saw many young Chinese really engaged with the presentations and displays that were setup for the public. I spoke to one family who specifically told me that they wanted to bring their children to the event not only to be part of history, but also for an educational opportunity where the children can understand how the world is changing and what they will need to embrace as things evolve. And what better way to get your children excited then with great looking fast cars! The whole family clearly loved it.
The whole day was exciting, but the race itself was beyond exciting - it was thrilling, and at one point even a bit scary. The last lap was like something out of a movie (SPOILER ALERT BEWARE). This historical race ended in a battle between Nicolas Prost (e.dams-Renault) and Venturi’s Nick Heidfeld. The two leaders sideswiped on the final corner of the final lap, sending Heidfeld into a double barrel roll aerial crash, and landing upside down on the track. I was on the edge of my seat and was extremely worried about Heidfeld (we could see Prost had stopped safely and was fine); but this extraordinary driver walked away unscathed from the accident. After seeing this accident I had to ask myself - and I pose the question to our readers - if this had been a fuel powered Formula car, would there have been flames? Would Heidfeld have gotten out ok? I don't know, but what I do know is that there were no combustibles in this equation, thus reducing the risk, and maybe even saving Nick Heidfeld's life. Something to consider. I did have a chance to speak to Formula E's CEO, Alejandro Agag, about his thoughts on the accident and the race itself in this short video report.
At the day's end the winners were Lucas di Grassi, Formula E, the city and people of Beijing. And the biggest winner? All of us for moving in the right direction and getting a checkered flag from the Environment.
Brazilian, Lucas Di Grassi Makes History By Wining 1st Formula E Grand ePrix
The race, Beijing Evergrande Spring ePrix, was held on a spectacular temporary race track built around the city’s iconic Olympic ‘Bird’s Nest’ Stadium and was won by Audi Sport ABT’s Lucas di Grassi.
Some 40 million are believed to have watched the race worldwide on television with 75,000 attending on site and one billion social interactions recorded around the race.
Brazilian Di Grassi stole victory after race-leader Nicolas Prost (e.dams-Renault) and Venturi’s Nick Heidfeld touched on the final corner of the final lap in the battle for the lead, sending Heidfeld into a spectacular crash which he walked away from unharmed.
Andretti driver Franck Montagny finished runner-up nearly three seconds adrift of Di Grassi with team-mate Daniel Abt crossing the line third, only to later have it taken away from him after failing short of the required 28kw power consumption usage. Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird was promoted to claim the final place on the podium.
Lucas di Grassi said: “Firstly, I’m happy Nick [Heidfeld] is ok and it shows how safe these cars are. I didn’t see what happened myself but it’s like a dream come true. I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time. The team did a great job all through practice and qualifying, yes we made a few mistakes but overall I’m extremely happy to be the first ever winner of a Formula E race.”
Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E said: “Two years ago the FIA had a vision of creating a championship which has close racing, entertainment and sustainability at its heart. This weekend, that vision became a reality. To see 20 fully-electric cars racing towards the first corner was a very special moment for me and for everyone involved. We truly believe this weekend marks a new era of motorsport that embraces sustainable mobility and we are incredibly grateful to all our investors, teams, drivers, partners, event operators, personnel, and of course the FIA, for helping us make this such a success. Of course, I’d also like to congratulate Lucas di Grassi on being the first Formula E winner.”
He added: “What is more important to us is that Formula E is the biggest digital race in the world with real racing. We’re proud to announce that during this ePrix we’ve had a live worldwide television audience of 40 million, 75,000 people on site and more than one billion social interactions.”
Formula E is the FIA’s new fully-electric single-seater championship designed to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fans. Competing entirely on city-centre circuits all over the world, it uses cars capable of speeds in excess of 150mph (225kph). Its 10 teams feature some of the leading international names in motorsport including Alain Prost and Michael Andretti, along with high-profile environmental supporters including Sir Richard Branson. Meanwhile, it’s driver-line up boasts an array of former Formula One stars such as Jarno Trulli, Jaime Alguersuari, Sebastien Buemi, Lucas di Grassi and Bruno Senna – nephew of the great Aryton. Organisers hope the new series will help increase the interest in electric vehicles and promote sustainability, as well as accelerate the technology available which, over time, will filter into the road-going electric vehicle market.
Round two of the new Formula E series takes place in Putrajaya, Malaysia, on November 22 2014.
WORLD’S FIRST TRACKSIDE MOTOR SHOWS TO RUN ALONGSIDE FORMULA E EVENTS
In less than two weeks, the world of auto racing is going to transform forever as Formula E debuts from Bejing, China. With that we see, things are gearing up with what will accompany a visiting Formula E Grand Prix in a host city.
The all-electric FIA Formula E Championship has today confirmed the launch of the Formula E Motor Shows.
Taking place within the Formula E city-centre race circuits, fans will get the unique opportunity to see, and experience, first-hand how the advances in technology, safety, innovation and speed witnessed on the racetrack are driving forward everyday electric and hybrid car development. Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E, said: “We are excited to announce this new and important development for Formula E. The Formula E Motor Shows will play an important part in removing the barriers to the electric vehicle market and helping change perceptions to make people believe in electric car ownership. The future of modern, mass transport, particular in cities and urban areas, lies in electric vehicles. The Formula E Motor Shows will help to accelerate the interest and adoption of sustainable and clean air motoring solutions in line with our objectives for the championship.”
Justin Tadman, CEO of the Formula E Motor Shows, added: “I am delighted to be launching this series of exciting events. Consumers will be able to engage and interact with the manufacturers and their ranges of hybrid and electric vehicles at these city centre race tracks. Our first Formula E Motor Show will take place alongside the Miami race in March 2015, followed by Long Beach, Monaco, Berlin and London. This is a truly exciting time for the motoring industry and these events are perfectly timed and located to help drive the change towards an electric future.”
The Formula E Motor Shows will take place over four days – before, during and after the race.
Formula E is the FIA’s new fully-electric single-seater championship designed to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fans, whilst accelerating the interest in electric vehicles and promoting sustainability. Racing entirely on temporary city-centre race tracks, it uses cars capable of speeds in excess of 150mph (225kph). The first of 10 races takes place in Beijing on September 13 2014 with the season finale taking place in Battersea Park London on June 27, 2015.
FORMULA E COMPLETES FULL EVENT SIMULATION AHEAD OF FIRST EVER RACE
Formula E has completed two full event simulations as the world’s first all-electric single-seater championship gears up for its first race in Beijing on September 13.
Both events took place at Leicestershire’s Donington Park, where a temporary pitlane and pitboxes were assembled to mimic those that will be in place at the street circuits the series will visit. Accreditation procedures, operational and IT infrastructures and even television broadcasts were also meticulously tested.
During the second simulation, for the first time the 10 teams ran all four of their cars as the two non-qualifying sessions, qualifying and an endurance test were completed to the schedule that will take place at the races.
This meant that all of the teams and drivers had the opportunity to simulate the unique car change pitstops – and at the second simulation – a full standing start.
While a number of issues were encountered, which was the reason for running the simulation, overall the events were considered to be a success.
Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E, said: “Putting on a major sporting event in the heart of cities around the world is a massive undertaking and requires careful preparation. We want the Formula E Beijing ePrix to a fantastic spectacle, which is why we’re leaving nothing to chance by rigorously testing all the systems beforehand. Overall we’re very pleased with how things went.”
Organisers have also revealed the raceday timetable for each Formula E event, which takes place all in one day. The 10 teams and 20 drivers will have two non-qualifying sessions in the morning – lasting 45 minutes and 30 minutes - followed by a qualifying session split into four groups of five cars with the order selected at random beforehand. The race itself will last approximately 60 minutes with the race distance (exact number of laps) determined on the day.
The final Formula E pre-season test takes place at Donington Park on August 19 with free admission to the public. Some 4000 fans have already pre-registered their interest for the last opportunity to see the cars and drivers before the season opener.
Ruffalo Promotes Energy Message To NASCAR Crowd
Mark Ruffalo had a big smile on his face as he signed ticket stubs and posed for pictures at Chicagoland Speedway. A steady stream of fans approached the actor from all angles, but he made it look as if it was a small party with a bunch of old friends.
Ruffalo felt right at home at his second NASCAR race.
"This culture is really familiar to me," he said. "These are like my people. I grew up an hour and a half away from here in Kenosha, Wisconsin. So this is my kind of family. This is what my people are like."
Ruffalo, 46, served as the grand marshal for Saturday night's Nationwide Series stop, but he also came out to support Leilani Munter in the ARCA race. Munter's PrairieGold Solar No. 66 Toyota included an ad for Ruffalo's The Solutions Project on the car.
Ruffalo and Stanford professor Mark Jacobson helped create the organization in 2011 to advocate for the transition to 100 percent clean, renewable energy. NASCAR has stepped up its environmental efforts over the years, and Ruffalo said he found a receptive audience at the race.
It helped that Ruffalo had the perfect spokeswoman in Munter, who has a degree in biology and drives an electric Tesla Model S off the track. Munter also has solar panels on her house, and her motto is "Never underestimate a vegetarian hippie chick with a race car."
Using a solar-based system in her pit area that is also used by the U.S. military, Munter finished 12th in the ARCA race.
"What we want to say to people and what she is a perfect example of is you know we really don't have to give up anything," Ruffalo said. "You don't have to give up NASCAR because we're moving to a carbon-free structure and infrastructure of carbon-free energy environment. You can still have those things."
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hosts Major Solar Farm
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Solar Farm (IMS) - currently the largest solar power station at any sporting facility in the world - was officially opened this month.
IMS sits on 1,000 acre parcel of land and the 9 megawatt facility occupies 68 acres of previously unused land.
The project , which consists of more than 39,000 solar panels, was developed by SunWize Technologies and Blue Renewable Energy.
Electricity generated by the solar farm will be purchased by Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL). IPL has set a goal of generating 10% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2017.
"The new IMS solar farm will be a constant reminder to those who visit the largest spectator sporting facility in the world of the creative solutions taking place here in Indianapolis to increase sustainability," said Ken Zagzebski, President of AES' U.S. Strategic Business Unit, parent company of IPL.
IMS Solar Farm will generate enough power to meet the needs of 1,000 households consuming 1,100 kWh of electricity a month and will avoid 10,288 tonnes of carbon emissions annually.
Solar arrays are becoming an increasingly common feature at racetracks. One of the first US racetracks to install solar was a 3 megawatt facility constructed at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania in 2010.
With racing venues often well-attended, they are also being used as a tool for promoting green energy in other ways. Earlier this year, Lockheed Martin and the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) embarked on a campaign to promote clean energy technology at racetracks during the 2014 season.
Solar is also popping up at other sporting venues. Recently, Yingli Solar supplied 1 MW of solar panels to help power Arena Pernambuco, the site of five 2014 FIFA World Cup matches. Yingli Solar was the first renewable energy sponsor of the FIFA World Cup and its exposure played a significant role in the company being named Germany's 3rd most recognized Chinese brand.
Electric Car Racing Hits Long Beach
Mayor Bob Foster welcomes new global electric racing series to California
The FIA Formula E Championship, the world’s first fully-electric racing series, last week announced that round seven of its inaugural season will be held on the iconic streets of Long Beach, California, USA.
The Long Beach ePrix, as it will be titled, will take place on April 4 2015 and will form one of 10 races – and one of two in the US alongside Miami – taking place in city-centres across the globe. Organisers also confirmed that the Long Beach race will be one of two that forms part of the championship’s Legacy Programme giving free access to fans with a focus on attracting school and university students from the nearby area to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fans and promote the electric vehicle industry.
Formula E is the FIA’s (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile) new open-wheel championship using fully-electric race cars capable of speeds in excess of 150mph. Its 10 teams have already been confirmed and feature some of the leading names in motorsport including two from the US - Michael Andretti’s Andretti Autosport and Jay Penske’s Dragon Racing. A total of 20 drivers will take part, two per team, four of which have already been announced including former F1 stars Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport Abt Formula E Team) and Jaime Alguersuari (Virgin Racing Formula E Team).
The announcement was made during a press conference held at the Terrace Theatre Plaza – which overlooks part of the circuit – hosted by Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster, who pledges his full support to the new initiative, the CEO of Formula E Alejandro Agag and driver Lucas di Grassi. "Long Beach is proud to be among the elite group of international cities hosting the FIA Formula E Championship," said Mayor Bob Foster, who is a long-time electric vehicle owner and recognised expert on energy issues. He added: "The Long Beach ePrix will bring a new generation of race fans to the iconic streets of Long Beach."
Long Beach was selected to host one of the 10 international races by championship promoters Formula E Holdings due to its commitment to sustainable mobility and long-running success hosting large scale sporting events and high-visibility special events. California is the number one market for plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) sales with around 12% of national sales alone occurring in the South California area.
Alejandro Agag, Formula E CEO, said:“We are very thankful to Mayor Bob Foster and all the city authorities for their warm reception here today and for welcoming the new all-electric FIA Formula E Championship to Long Beach as hosts of round seven. They all share our passion for not only motorsport but for promoting sustainable mobility, and I have every confidence that the people of Long Beach and Southern California are going to experience a revolutionary, and of course very exciting, new racing event come April 2015. The goal of Formula E is to showcase the true potential of electric vehicles and to inspire people to believe in these cars for their own personal use.”
The Long Beach street circuit is the longest running in the US beginning in 1975 and hosted Formula One from 1976 to 1983 before staging annual CART, Champ Car and IndyCar races. During the press conference, the exact track layout was also revealed which will see the Formula E cars use a modified configuration to the regular IndyCar circuit. At 1.6 miles (2.1km) in length and featuring seven turns, the Formula E cars will use the same iconic start/finish line adjacent to the Marina before heading off in a clockwise direction past the Rainbow Lagoon. They will then turn right onto South Pine Avenue before re-joining with the more familiar track configuration. The cars will then pass around the grounds of the Convention Centre before a final right-hand hairpin brings them back across the start/finish line.
Speaking about the track during the event driver Lucas di Grasi said: “Long Beach is one of the most iconic city tracks in the world. This is the perfect place for Formula E to showcase innovation and sustainability."
Gil de Ferran, former IndyCar legend and Formula E ambassador, added: “Long Beach is an iconic track. It is the most famous street circuit in North America and is a little bit of a tradition in American motorsport. It says a lot for Formula E that it is racing at such a venue.”
The first Formula E race takes place around Beijing’s Olympic ‘Bird’s Nest’ Stadium on September 13 2014. All Formula E events take place in just one day – practice, qualifying and a one-hour race – in order to help minimise disruption to the city.
FORMULA-EPARTNERS WITH GLOBAL THERMOSTAT TO REDUCE CHAMPIONSHIP CO2 EMISSIONS
NEW YORK, USA (April, 2014) – Organizers of the FIA Formula E Championship have today announced a new partnership with leading carbon capture company Global Thermostat to significantly reduce the CO2 emissions generated by the series and to jointly promote sustainable technologies.
Beginning this September in Beijing, Formula E is the FIA’s global motorsport championship featuring fully- electric open-wheel cars racing in 10 of the world’s leading cities including Los Angeles, London and Buenos Aires. The debut of Formula E ushers in an innovative age where a race on the world stage will become the platform to showcase and promote sustainable technology for the environment.
Global Thermostat was founded in 2006 by Professors Peter Eisenberger and Graciela Chichilnisky. Graciela Chichilnisky drafted and negotiated the carbon trading mechanism for the Kyoto Protocol, while Peter Eisenberger boasts more than 20 years' experience as head of Exxon R&D. This unique technology - patent-pending in over 100 countries - captures carbon dioxide direct from the atmosphere. It uses a low- cost left-over process heat as energy for the capture of CO2 which is then stored in geologically appropriate underground formations before being reused. Using this technology, Global Thermostat will work on significantly reducing the CO2 emissions generated by the championship.
Ben Bronfman, Principal of Business Development at Global Thermostat, said: "We are very excited to enter into this partnership between Global Thermostat and Formula E. They are one of the first organisations, outside of our development partners, that recognise the power and value of our transformative platform. Formula E is serious about what they are doing and we look forward to working together.”
Graciela Chichilnisky, Co-Founder and Managing Director at Global Thermostat, said: "The two largest sectors in terms of carbon emissions are energy and transportation. Global Thermostat is already creating carbon negative power plants and with Formula E it can create carbon negative automobile transportation - truly cutting edge technology for our new millennium.”
Formula E has already attracted many high-profile environmental supporters with the likes of Sir Richard Branson, Leonardo DiCaprio and former UK science minister Lord Paul Drayson all associated with teams for the opening season.
Enrique Bañuelos, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Formula E, added: “This partnership between Global Thermostat and Formula E is a natural one, as the core beliefs and goals associated with both companies are the same: reduce atmospheric carbon emissions and progress the dialogue towards a sustainable future. It is our intention to bring carbon negative solutions to the hearts of the host cities around the world. Global Thermostat’s breakthrough technology, together with all of our partners, will make it possible for Formula E to pave the way towards uniting sustainability-minded corporations, entertainment, global governments, and the sports world."
Formula E secures live free-to-air UK television deal with ITV
LONDON, UK (17, March 2014) – All 10 rounds of the 2014/2015 FIA Formula E Championship will be televised live and free-to-air in the UK after series organisers confirmed a broadcast deal with leading UK network ITV.
Brokered by international media company MP & Silva, the ITV agreement adds to existing deals with FOX Sports and Japan’s TV Asahi. Live coverage will be screened on ITV4 and ITV4 HD, alongside coverage on www.itv.com. The programme will also be available via the on-demand ITV Player service.
All programmes will feature comprehensive coverage of each live race together with pre-race build-up – including highlights from the day’s earlier practice and qualifying sessions - podium celebrations and post-race interviews. ITV4 is one of the UK's leading channels for motorsport coverage already screening extensive coverage of the British Touring Car Championship, along with British Superbikes and the World Rally Championship.
Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Formula E, said: “We’re delighted to be announcing this partnership with ITV today and to be securing live, free-to-air coverage of all Formula E races for our UK fans – of which we’re confident there will be many. The UK is widely considered the home of motorsport and a very important market for Formula E. As such, with its unrivalled commitment to motorsport, ITV provides the perfect platform to showcase our new fully-electric series - which will also be racing in London in June 2015 – and to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fans.”
Niall Sloane, ITV's Director of Sport, said: “I’m delighted ITV4 will be able to bring viewers the opportunity to see this innovative new series - which promises top-level open-wheel racing with the iconic backdrops of some of the world’s most famous cities. The coverage of this series adds another new dimension to ITV4’s motorsport portfolio.” ITV joins previously announced broadcasters FOX Sports and TV Asahi who have all committed to showing live coverage of Formula E races. The FOX Sports deal alone covers 88 territories around the world and a potential global audience of 180million households, whilst TV Asahi boasts a household reach of51.4million.
All Formula E events take place across a single day (Saturday) with races beginning at 16:00 local time. Further TV deals will be announced in the coming weeks.
Green Power Sponsorship Deal For NASCAR
It’s not generally considered the most environmentally-friendly sport in the world, but NASCAR will soon be increasing awareness of green power.
Lockheed Martin and the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) have signed a sponsorship deal involving ACORE promoting clean energy technology at racetracks during the 2014 season.
ACORE will partner with NASCAR Green, the sustainability arm of National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc., in a multi-year effort to engage with NASCAR’s millions-strong audience about the benefits of renewable energy, sustainability and energy security. "This is the perfect vehicle for encouraging and engaging young people and lifelong learners to find careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) using renewable energy as their focus,”said ACORE President and CEO, Michael Brower.
"A mirror of America, NASCAR fans thrive on the initiative, innovation and determination of their favourite NASCAR drivers and teams. And our renewable energy industry equally mirrors America with our dramatic successes building the new energy infrastructure and bringing down costs in an amazingly short time."
Lockheed Martin will provide funds for ACORE to showcase renewable energy systems such as solar panels, biofuel demonstrations and wind turbine models at some of NASCAR’s biggest races; including the Sprint Cup Series at Daytona International Speedway in July, Chicagoland Speedway in September and Kansas Speedway in October.
NASCAR vehicles last year completed five-million miles on Sunoco Green E15, a blended ethanol fuel made from corn (although ethanol's green credentials are hotly debated) and the organisation boasts the world’s largest solar-powered raceway. ACORE will also play a role in NASCAR’s month-long Race To Green Campaign in April.
The deal also involves the creation of summer fellowships aimed at college-aged students interested in pursuing careers in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
"With the educational components of this partnership, ACORE will help to ensure our nation’s youth are equipped to become the next generation of American renewable energy innovators, inventors and industry builders, well-prepared and fully able to create a more prosperous American future built on clean, renewable energy," said Brower.
FORMULA E TO BUILD NEW HEADQUARTERS AT DONINGTON PARK
- UK race circuit to house all 10 teams and act as test bed for new global electric race series - British Government Minister welcomes unique low-carbon investment to the UK
LEICESTERSHIRE, UK – Formula E, the FIA’s new global electric racing series, has today announced that its new headquarters and team facilities will be based within the grounds of the Donington Park Racing Circuit in the UK.
Construction work on the 44,000ft² bespoke premises began on 2nd January and when complete will provide state-of-the-art facilities for each of the 10 Formula E teams, together with offices, stores and workshops for Formula E’s own operational staff – totalling more than 150 people.
In addition, the Formula E teams - all of which have now been announced - will use the Donington Park circuit for their testing and development work on the fully-electric Spark-Renault SRT_01E race car.
The new facilities, located in Donington’s Western Paddock, just 100 metres from the circuit itself at the Melbourne Hairpin entry, will also comply with the “Very Good” BREEAM sustainable construction standards and with the UK Government’s Low Carbon Economy and the National Planning Policy Framework requirements. This will ensure teams benefit from high environmental standards, effective energy management systems and the reduction of carbon emissions wherever possible – in-line with Formula E’s sustainability ethos.
Formula E is a new FIA Championship using electric single-seater race cars capable of speeds in excess of 225km/h. Beginning this September in Beijing, the series will compete in the heart of 10 of the world's leading cities including London, Miami and Rio de Janeiro. Ten teams, each with two drivers, will go head-to-head to create a unique and exciting racing series designed to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fans whilst accelerating the electric vehicle market and promoting sustainability.
Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E, said: “We looked at a number of locations around Europe but the British motorsport industry is regarded as the best in the world so it was an easy decision for us to be based in the UK and our new facilities at Donington Park provide the perfect central location for operating the FIA Formula E Championship. Being in the ‘Motorsport Valley’ also means we can take advantage of the technology and skills all around us, as we have already done through McLaren and Williams.
“All 10 teams will soon have top facilities at their disposal in a modern, sustainable building, as well as direct access to the circuit to develop their cars. We are also just a stone’s throw from East Midlands Airport and the hub of our logistics partner DHL, meaning will we make substantial cost and emission savings. It’s also great for such an innovative and global racing series to be based at a historic race track like Donington Park and we’re looking forward to welcoming the teams.”
All works will be complete by the end of April with the first teams moving in on 1st May. Formula E’s commercial aspects will continue to operate out of its London offices.
Christopher Tate, Managing Director of Donington Park Racing Ltd, said: “Formula E and all its teams committing to this location here at Donington Park, the heart of British motor sport, is a critical forward leap for this company, for this wonderful race track, and for our region. Already there are dozens of civil engineers and technicians at work on the construction project. From May, around 150 highly technical racing engineers will be preparing and testing their all-new Formula E electric cars here. Three years after this company took over the estate; this is a major landmark moment for Donington Park.”
He added: “Our own team, working with the North West Leicestershire Council, the Leicestershire Local Enterprise Partnership and the Growing Places Fund, have all come together to make this great project happen, and see this multi-million pound investment here once again prove the strength of the UK motorsport industry. With Formula E, we have no doubt this new centre will come to act as a technical hub for the future development of these exciting new technologies not just for the motorsport industry, but for the wider automotive sector as a whole. Everyone here now awaits the first test day for these new cars on this historic and demanding race track.”
Business and Energy Minister The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP added: “Formula E's decision to locate the international teams and its global HQ at Donington Park shows how Britain's thriving motorsport industry is continuing to attract international investment. With investment from the Government's Growing Places Fund - secured through the Leicestershire Local Enterprise Partnership - Formula E's new facilities will further promote Britain as a leading innovator in developing technologies for energy-efficient cars. Motorsport is now one of the key growth sectors, and a great British success story."
NEW FORMULA E CAR MAKES FIRST EVER PUBLIC DEMO IN LAS VEGAS
Crowds treated to spectacular display of Spark-Renault SRT_01E as fully-electric race car makes global debut in US, hosted by Qualcomm.
LAS VEGAS, USA (6, January 2014) – Formula E’s new fully-electric race car, the Spark-Renault SRT_01E, made its first ever public demonstration today, entertaining crowds with a high-speed display around the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
Capable of speeds in excess of 150mph, the zero emission single-seater was driven by former Formula One driver Lucas di Grassi and gave invited guests, media and onlookers their first chance to see and hear the cars that will compete in the new FIA Formula E Championship - the world’s first fully-electric racing series beginning in September.
Formula E is a new FIA championship which will compete on 10 city-centre circuits around the globe including two races in the US – Miami and Los Angeles – which take place in the spring of 2015. Ten teams, each with two drivers, will go head-to-head to create a unique and exciting racing series designed to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fan, whilst accelerating the electric vehicle market and promoting sustainability.
Unveiled in September 2013, the Formula E car has been designed and built by French-based Spark Racing Technology together with a consortium of the leading names in motorsport including Dallara (chassis), Williams (battery design), McLaren (powertrain & electronics), Renault (overall system integration) and Michelin (tyres).
The event was also held in conjunction with the International CES, a global consumer electronics and technology tradeshow, together with Qualcomm Incorporated, one of Formula E’s Founding Partners and the championship’s Technology Partner.
“Today is a very special landmark for the FIA Formula E Championship and I’m delighted to be sharing it with Qualcomm and all our partners,” said Alejandro Agag, CEO of series promotes Formula E Holdings. “Since the FIA launched Formula E just over a year ago, the progress and interest in the series has been overwhelming. When we started we had no cities, no teams, no broadcasters and no car. Now we have all these things so to be able to showcase our new car to everyone involved, and of course the fans, is a very proud moment.
“2014 is a very big year for Formula E with the championship starting in September so it’s important to be starting on such a positive note. Today will also be the first of many roadshows we have planned over the coming months as we want as many people as possible to see, and hear, what we believe is the future of motorsport.”
He added: “It’s also great for us to be debuting the car here in the US as this remains a key area for Formula E given we have two teams, two cities, broadcaster FOX Sports, a new investor with Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck and, of course, the US’s ever expanding electric vehicle market.”
“We are excited to show off the new fully-electric FIA Formula E Championship car in action on the Las Vegas Strip,” said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, Chairman and CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated. “Qualcomm is proud to be a Founding Technology Partner of the FIA Formula E Championship and a part of a global movement towards sustainable living."
As part of the event, the Formula E car was also driven along the famous Las Vegas Strip by Lucas di Grassi under police escort, finishing at the world-famous Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino. "Caesars Palace has been passionate about auto sports since its early days when it hosted the Caesars Palace Grand Prix,”said Tariq Shaukat, Caesars Entertainment's Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “We are proud to keep at the leading edge of the auto sports industry and technology innovation by partnering as the exclusive casino sponsor with the first-of-its-kind Formula E racing car. This partnership complements our ongoing global environmental efforts and supports the company's focus of leveraging technology to enhance the overall guest experience at our many entertainment destinations worldwide."
It will now be displayed on Qualcomm’s stand (Central Hall, #8252) for the remainder of the CES Show where the leader in mobile space will be showcasing its Qualcomm Halo™ Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC) – a revolutionary new technology that will be fitted to the championship’s safety cars.
Boston Celtics' Owner Makes Multi-Million Dollar Investment in Formula-E Racing
Wyc Grousbeck, lead owner of NBA basketball team the Boston Celtics, together with his Causeway Media Partners have today announced a multi-million investment in Formula E Holdings, series promoters of the new FIA Formula E Championship.
Formula E is a new FIA championship and the world’s first fully-electric racing series. Beginning in September 2014, the championship will compete in 10 city-centre circuits around the globe including two races in the US – Miami and Los Angeles – taking place in the Spring of 2015. Ten teams, each with two drivers, will go head-to-head to create a unique and exciting racing series designed to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fan, whilst accelerating the electric vehicle market and promoting sustainability.
Today’s announcement will also see Wyc Grousbeck serve on the Board of Directors at Formula E Holdings who were appointed series promoters of the championship in August 2012 by the FIA.
Grousbeck co-founded Causeway Media Partners in May 2013 with long-time investing partners, Bob Higgins and Mark Wan. The fund has also received personal backing from a number of NFL and NBA team owners, including the Boston Celtics ownership group he leads, as well as leading figures from the private equity and media worlds.
Wyc Grousbeck said: “I am happy to announce that Causeway Media Partners has brought its deep network of NBA and NFL owners, as well as media executives and renowned investors, to Formula E. We believe Formula E is a great evolutionary step in motorsport and a way to entertain millions around the world while driving the development of the best possible electric vehicles.
“It is a privilege to be in a partnership with Formula E’s Alejandro Agag and Enrique Bañuelos, as well as with world-class partners such as FOX Sports, Virgin Racing, Audi Sport ABT, TAG Heuer, Michelin and Renault. We aim to help make Formula E a worldwide sensation, with a focus on the development of high-speed electric racing in the United States. With our upcoming races in the centres of Los Angeles and Miami, we will help showcase the power and promise of sustainable vehicle technology, while entertaining millions.
“Causeway's mission is to find investment opportunities that benefit from our deep network of NBA and NFL team owners, media executives and professional investors. Formula E is a perfect match. At Causeway, we know the power of competition and entertainment, and will bring our knowledge to the development of the market for electric vehicles.”
Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E Holdings, said: “We’re extremely happy to welcome Wyc Grousbeck and his Causeway Media Partners as a shareholder of Formula E and know they will prove to be a great asset to the development of the series. Wyc brings with him extensive knowledge and experience of the US sports market which of course remains a key area for Formula E given we have two US-based teams, two US cities, broadcaster FOX Sports and of course the US’s ever expanding Electric Vehicle market.
“Today’s news is also another significant step in the growth of Formula E. Earlier this year we announced our 10-race calendar and also our 10 teams which includes worldwide names in motorsport such as Michael Andretti [Andretti Autosport] and Jay Penske [Dragon Racing], through to global environmentalists like Sir Richard Branson [Virgin Racing] and Leonardo DiCaprio [Venturi Grand Prix].”
He added: “I have also personally known Wyc for many years and know he’s going to make a huge contribution to our Board of Directors and the direction of the FIA Formula E Championship.”
DeCaprio's Electric Racing Team
Weeks after donating $3M towards conservation efforts to save tigers, Leonardo DiCaprio is now turning his attention towards the environment with the launch of an electric race car team.
The Venturi Grand Prix Formula E Team, formed by the actor in partnership with Gildo Pallanca Pastor (founder of EV manufacturer Venturi Automobiles), Bert Hedaya and Francesco Costa, will look to compete in the new FIA Formula E Championship – the world’s first fully-electric race series beginning in September 2014.
“The future of our planet depends on our ability to embrace fuel-efficient, clean-energy vehicles,” DiCaprio said. “Venturi Grand Prix has shown tremendous foresight in their decision to create an environmentally friendly racing team, and I am happy to be a part of this effort.”
DiCaprio’s team will now be submitted to the FIA for approval as the tenth and final team to enter the new zero emission series. They will compete against green machine teams from around the globe like Andretti Autosport and Dragon Racing, Asia’s China Racing, Super Aguri and Mahindra Racing, and European squads Drayson Racing, e.dams, Audi Sport ABT and Virgin Racing.
“It’s an honour and a pleasure to welcome the Venturi Grand Prix team as the tenth and final team of the FIA Formula E Championship,” said Alejandro Agag, CEO of series promoters Formula E Holdings. “Gildo is a true pioneer in electric racing. From the desert of Salt Lake to Antarctica, his passion and vision pushes forward the technology barriers of what can be done with an electric car. But Gildo is not alone in this venture. Global entrepreneurs Francesco Costa and Bert Hedaya bring great experience and energy to the team.
“And of course, I want to give a very special welcome to our Championship to Leonardo DiCaprio. Very few environmental leaders have helped more than him to spread the message of sustainability around the world. Having people like him and Richard Branson – global ambassadors for the environment – is a privilege for our Championship and will greatly help us to spread the use of electric cars in cities around the planet.”
Formula 1 Champion Test Drives Renaults EVs
Three-time Formula One champions and Red Bull Racing driver Sebastian Vettel was asked by Renault to drive its all-electric vehicle lineup, which includes the Zoe, Twizy and the Twizy F1 concept.
The promotional event took place at Renault’s Z.E. Center on Seguin Island in Paris and market the German driver’s first contact with battery-powered cars. As expected, the KERS-equipped Twizy F1 was Vettel’s favorite, but he looked more than happy to try out the French company’s small EVs.
The promotional partnership is not surprising by any means, as Sebastian Vettel’s race-winning Red Bull Formula One car is also powered by Renault. The German driver is also involved in other road car projects, as he was named Director of Performance at Infiniti, Red Bull Racing’s main sponsor this Formula One season.
Formula E has been on an impressive tour as of late while at the same time releasing major news stories on a weekly basis. Whether it is naming a new Formula E Race Team, a new host city, or major international sponsor it seems the momentum is building up nicely. As we continue to follow Formula E we wanted to focus a bit on China and their involvement in the sport in our special sustainability series focuses on China. It's obvious the Chinese are excited and are ready to compete, and when you look at their effort to be a world player in EV manufacturing what better way to prove their skills than in Formula E.
Vice Mayor Ms Cheng Hong in June officially welcomed the FIA Formula E Championship to Beijing as one of 10 global cities to host the new fully-electric racing series, beginning in 2014.
In front of more than 400 guests and selected media, the agreement was signed during the prestigious closing ceremony of the China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) attended by the Vice Mayor together with Ms Qiu Hong, Assistant Minister of Commerce of China and Alejandro Agag, CEO of Championship promoter Formula E Holdings (FEH). Also present was Steven Lu, Team Principal of China Racing, one of two Formula E teams to have already committed to the Championship together with Team Drayson Racing, with each fielding two drivers as part of a 10 team line-up.
Beijing, the capital of the People’s Republic of China, joins a list of nine cities to be announced for the inaugural season – including London, Los Angeles and Bangkok – with the remaining city to be revealed shortly, ahead of the final calendar being presented to the FIA at the September 2013 World Motor Sport Council.
During the press conference, the Vice Mayor expressed her most sincere welcome for the FIA Formula E Championship adding: “Beijing is one of the leading cities in the world to promote electric cars and we would like to take this opportunity to showcase this to the world. The City of Beijing plans to have 50,000 electric cars on the streets by 2015, while across China the government has set a target of producing and selling 500,000 energy-efficient and alternative-energy vehicles per year by 2015, and five million vehicles by 2020.”
“We are honoured to be here today and very grateful to the Vice Mayor and to the Chinese authorities for their generous hospitality and enthusiastic welcome,” said Alejandro Agag. “With Beijing being one of the most populous cities in the world, it is the perfect place to highlight the benefits of zero emission electric cars and we’re delighted that Ms Cheng Hong shares this commitment – highlighted by the fact that the Formula E project was one of a select few out of thousands to gain her approval.”
Steven Lu added: "We are delighted to start this partnership with FEH for the coming Formula E Beijing race. Our experience and credibility will ensure the success of this green racing series in the capital of China. The support we’ve received from the Beijing Sports Bureau and the local ASN have given us even more confidence to deliver a world-class electric car championship in 2014. It will be our home race for the Formula E China Racing team and we will try to make local fans proud and excited about electric cars. I believe this is the best platform to promote electric vehicles in Beijing.”
Routes for the race are currently being finalised but as with all Formula E events, it will take place through the city streets, incorporating many of Beijing’s most iconic landmarks and providing a great spectacle for the people of China.
China Race Team is speeding up.
February 27, 2013 will be known as an historic date for motor racing in China, as that was the day that China officially announced their very own race team headed up be Steven Lu, CEO of Team China Racing.
The Chinese outfit joins British team Drayson Racing for the new format starting in 2014 that will feature cars powered solely by electricity.
"Chinese cities have high level of pollution and electric cars could help them to challenge this issue," said Alejandro Agag, chief executive officer of the Formula E Holdings (FEH) company that will oversee the commercial rights of the series.
"The success of the competition in China could help the people to change their mind about electric cars."
China Racing director Steven Lu acknowledged that part of his goal, through exposure to the Formula E championship, was to promote electric vehicles in his homeland in the hope of achieving a 15 to 20 percent usage rate by 2030.
The competition, touted as an environmentally friendly alternative to Formula One, will feature 10 races staged on urban circuits in iconic cities with the full 2014 calendar set to be unveiled on March 8.
Agag also confirmed that a Chinese city, possibly Shanghai or Beijing, would host a race.
"There will be two (host) cities in Asia, including one in China, two in South America, two in North America and two in Europe (one of which will be Rome)," said Agag.
Two other venues would be added to the calendar in September, he added.
As part of the announcement at the International Automobile Federation (FIA) headquarters in central Paris, FEH said it also wanted to stage a race in the French capital.
"There are several cities which are enquiring and others that we must convince," Agag added, saying that Paris fell into the second category and as a result would not be on the March 8 list.
The championship also has the full support of the FIA.
"Times are changing and Formula E is a symbol of our vision for the future as well as a mean to improve safety," said FIA president Jean Todt.
The series will ultimately consist of 10 teams, the other eight are expected to be revealed by the end of the year with 20 drivers at the controls of cars capable of reaching speeds of up to 250 kilometres (155 miles) per hour.
Everyone at ReNewable Now wishes the best of luck to all our friends in China and we are looking forward to seeing them attract fans from all over the world.
United State's First Family of Auto Racing Enters The World of Formula E
The United State's First Family of Auto Racing has officially entered the world of Formula E. Andretti Autosport, led by racing legend Michael Andretti, on July 17, became the third of 10 teams to sign up to theFIA Formula E Championship – the world’s first fully-electric global racing series, beginning in 2014.
What does this announcement mean? From our perspective it reinforces what we at ReNewable Now already now, and that this sport has the potential to change the world. And when something is this hot, and has so much potential an experienced and savvy team, such as Andretti Autosport, we believe, sees the future and when you play it out to it's natural conclusion Formula E is not a gamble, but a sure bet for positive growth.
The launch, held at the team’s headquarters in Indianapolis, was attended by Alejandro Agag, CEO of Championship promoters Formula E Holdings and President, Chairman and CEO of Andretti Autosport Michael Andretti.
Andretti Autosport currently fields multiple entries in the IZOD IndyCar Series along with multiple campaigns in the Firestone Indy Lights, the Pro Mazda Championship and in the USF2000 National Championship. It is one of the most well-known and decorated teams in US motorsport with four IZOD IndyCar Series championships (2004, 2005, 2007 and 2012), two Firestone Indy Lights titles (2008 and 2009), one USF2000 championship (2010) and has won the world-famous Indianapolis 500 twice (2005 and 2007). Michael himself boasts a racing career spanning more than 20 years competing in CART and Formula One with a remarkable 42 victories in CART, a runner-up on five occasions and second on the list of the most IndyCar laps led, just behind his father Mario.
“It’s an honour for Andretti Autosport to have been selected as one of the 10 founding Formula E teams for the inaugural season,” said Michael Andretti. “I look forward to further exploring the series and helping build the future of open-wheel racing across the world.”
Andretti Autosport becomes the third team to join the new zero emission series which will see Formula cars racing on 10 city-centre circuits all around the world. They join UK-based Drayson Racing, who recently set the world electric land speed record, together with China Racing, headed up by the highly-regarded Steven Lu.
Alejandro Agag added: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Andretti Autosport to the series; a team with an incredible racing pedigree and track record who I have no doubt is going to make a big contribution to the FIA Formula E Championship. It’s fantastic too for such a highly-established outfit to show its commitment to sustainable motoring and with two US races on the inaugural calendar – Los Angeles and Miami – I’m sure American motorsport fans will have a lot to cheer come race day. “As well being the first team from the US, the announcement now means we have three teams from three different continents and we’re looking forward to announcing many more over the coming months.”
For the inaugural season, teams including Andretti Autosport will use the new Spark-Renault SRT_01E Formula E car, built by French-based company Spark Racing Technology, together with a consortium of the leading manufacturers in motorsport including McLaren, Williams, Renault and Dallara – with Michelin being the Championship’s Official Tyre Supplier and TAG Heuer the Official Time Keeper.
Patrice Ratti, CEO of Renault Sport Technologies who are overseeing the systems integration of the Spark-Renault SRT_01E, added: "As technical partner to Formula E and as a brand committed to motorsport for over 100 years, it is a great honour for Renault to welcome Andretti Autosport onboard. Andretti Autosport is one of the largest and most respected motorsport organizations in the world and we are delighted of their decision to join us in the new Zero-Emission professional racing series pioneered by FEH. Such great professional teams as Andretti Autosport will further inspire our engineers to develop an amazing race car and create a great show for motorsport fans around the world. With three professional teams now confirmed and more interested, we should soon have a complete grid for any other series to envy."
For all at Andretti Autosport, In bocca al lupo!
Posted: June 2013
FORMULA E AUTO RACING! The Future Is Here.
When I first heard the news back in September of 2012 that there was the creation of a Formula - E Racing League I couldn't believe it, I thought it was some kind of joke, or ridiculous stunt. But when I researched it further I was ecstatic at what I had learned, it was true, and official. The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) had reached an agreement to license the commercial rights of the
FIA Formula E Championship to a consortium of international investors. The FIA is the world's undisputed authority when it comes to racing, and receiving their endorsement ads instant credibility to Formula E.
Okay for those who may not know what I'm writing about let me take a step and define what Formula E is, and what it is meant to be. "Formula E is a new FIA championship series featuring Formula cars powered exclusively by electric energy. It represents a vision for the future of the motor industry over the coming decades." What it is meant to be, a cousin to to Formula 1 that is to attract a new and younger audience that are becoming more environmentally aware every day.
Jean Todt, President of FIA, and possibly the best ever Formula 1 team manger, had this to say about Formula E. "This new competition at the heart of major cities is certain to attract a new audience. We are pleased with this agreement with Formula E Holdings as they bring a very strong experience in MotorSport. The new events will provide a great way to engage the younger generation. This spectacular series will offer both entertainment and a new opportunity to share FIA values with a wide audience as clean energy, mobility and sustainability. This is a great day and a strong message to the motor sport community. The FIA is definitely looking to the future!”
Jean Todt's excitement says a lot, especially when he can identify, and tie together a younger audience who is conscience about the environment in which they live.
The principles behind Formula E Holdings Ltd (FEH) has as anchor investor London based entrepreneur Enrique Bañuelos. Former MEP and racing team owner Alejandro Agag, with long experience in the motor sport business, will be the CEO of FEH, as well as shareholder of the company. Also associated with the project are Lord Drayson, Managing Partner of Drayson Racing Technologies, and Eric Barbaroux, Chairman of the French electric automotive company “Electric Formula”.
What I like about their approach is what they call their core event structure, THREE Es.
The event’s key attraction points can be triangulated. This dynamic motor racing event will mean different things to different people.
From the city mayor to a hopeful child, the event will capture imaginations, release potential, raise debate and carry the sustainable message.
It is built around the Three Es paradigm, where there are three key elements that combine to make it relevant: firstly the source of Energy that powers these vehicles, secondly the Environmental issues at the heart of modern mobility and consumption and thirdly, the cutting edge Entertainment, on and off track that we create.
THE GRAND PRIX RACES
Races will be held in the streets of major cities over a course of about 1.8 miles, and cars will travel at a maximum speed of 135 mph.
The first scheduled Formula E Grand Prix will be hosted in Rio de Janeiro in 2014, and what better country than Brazil, home to legendary Formula 1 pilot Ayrton Senna to be unveil such an historic event. And following Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Italy the backyard to possibly the greatest racing dynasty ever Ferrari. Two historical cities that we are sure are going to put Formula E on the fast track of success.
The cars themselves are single seater, and similar in style to open wheel racers. So long as the car is sanctioned as Formula E by the FIA they will be eligible to compete. The specification are based on the Formulec EF 01 prototype which is now in operation.
The target audience for the races is aged from 12-25, with a view to making them more eager to drive electric cars.
Each team has two drivers and four cars.
Drivers switch cars during the race, returning to the original car once it has been recharged. A car battery contains three 200-cell units and, at top speed, a battery lasts up to 25 minutes, making for a race time of about one hour.
Unlike in Formula One, where mechanics typically change tires in lightning quick times, the pit stops in electric racing are only to change cars. The driver enters the pits, runs 100 meters and jumps into the new, freshly charged car.
Wow, this is going to be be something, a 100 meter sprint could actual cause a team to lose a race. This is going to be interesting.
There will be ten racing teams that will compete over the course of the year from the Formula E championship, prize money totals $5.2 million for the winning teams, about $523,000 per race, and a $2.6 million prize for the season's best driver. Not bad for a start up.
Right now there are two teams officially signed, Drayson Racing, of London, England, and China Racing. (We'll be featuring them next month)
As all this evolves I wonder how many young Steve Jobs, or Bill Gates that are out there who would enjoy jumping into a sport like this, a great activity that challenges both the mind, and body. But as it grows I also hope that these new young pilots don't forget the lineage they are inheriting from such great champions as Juan Manuel Fangio, Stirling Moss, Niki Lauda, Alberto Ascari, and many others who have paved the way for this exciting future.