Formula E in Long Beach, Ca
The FIA announced a new race series, Formula E, and it’s coming to Long Beach, California the first week of April 2015. But, the most exciting part is that the race cars in the series will have a totally electric power plant.
Hybrid power plant technology crept into premier racing with The 24 Hours of LeMans and Audi. We’re now seeing the push for not just hybrid engines, but ALL electric powered vehicles in our everyday lives. The FIA has addressed this 1st world push for electric vehicles by adding a series to the fold that has no fossil-fueled engines powering cars down a track. Welcome to the electric generation of motorsport!
The all electric cars of the Formula E race series will have similar stats to their older siblings of Formula 1. The race cars brag of 0 – 60 mph times being comparable to F1 cars. Formula E cars will be coming in at around 3 seconds, just slightly slower than F1 cars. And like F1, will have races staged all over the world, giving the new race series a very global air about it. Organizers are hopeful that people viewing races held all over the world will also see electric powered vehicles in a more glamorous light and desire to own one themselves. Reinforcing the age old auto world adage of “race ’em on Sunday and sell ’em on Monday.”
In my opinion, the task of selling electric vehicles to the masses would become WAY easier if car designers would just make electric powered vehicles look sexy (i.e. Tesla, Fiskers, BMW i8…not Prius, Leaf or Volt). Hopefully Formula E can show the general public that electric cars can be sexy, glamorous and HOT.
Also, Formula E is incorporating social media into the engagement strategy to get a younger crowd involved. Similar to U.S. Indy Cars, Formula E drivers will have 2 power boosts available to help in critical passing situations. As an added bonus, and as a way to encourage fan participation from the target car buying audience (urban 20- and 30- year old types), fans can use Twitter to tweet out the handle of their favorite driver. The driver with the most tweets mentioning them will get an additional power boost on the very last lap of the race. Hopefully this will get fans interacting on Twitter and make the last lap of the race super exciting. We’ll see, but I am getting psyched for the social media fun.
So, to recap… Formula E is a new FIA race series that uses race cars that are totally powered by electric power plants. Next, Long Beach, CA is slated as the 7th round of the series, just two weeks before the iconic IndyCar race on the streets around Shoreline Village in Long Beach. The cars will be comparable to Formula 1 liveries in style, size, handling, and speeds…claiming 0-60mph times around 3 seconds. And, to add another element of excitement, Twitter will be used so fans can give drivers an extra boost of power on the last lap of the race. This aspect should encourage younger fans to participate. All these items pretty much assure me that Formula E will be exciting, glamorous and do a great job of promoting electric vehicles.
Get out and enjoy one of the races this year. Check out the official Formula E website for calendar details.
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