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Tickets on sale for Formula E Beijing ePrix

August 22, 2014 in China, Electric Vehicles, EV enthusiast, EV News, FIA Formula E

Photo courtesy of Formula E

Photo courtesy of Formula E

Fans of the new all-electric FIA Formula E Championship can now purchase tickets to attend the first ever race in Beijing on September 13 2014.

Raceday tickets, all of which offer reserved grandstand seating, can be obtained from one of three outlets. Local fans can use the platform, whilst spectators outside of China can visit the official website or global ticketing leader Ticketmaster – Formula E’s official ticketing provider. Ticketmaster will also provide ticketing technology solutions and project management for the championship, and become the exclusive ticketing partner in the countries where Ticketmaster already has a presence.

For the Beijing ePrix – which will see the 10 teams and 20 drivers compete on a temporary street circuit around the iconic Olympic ‘Bird’s Nest’ Stadium – organisers are offering two pricing options – Gold and Platinum priced at 488 RMB and 688 RMB (55 and 85 Euros respectively), dependent on the view of the track. Children under five will have free entry to the Beijing ePrix – as with all Formula E races (if accompanied by an adult) – with Beijing also having a limited amount of free trackside access. Tickets can also be brought at the track on the day.

Commenting on the collaboration, Ticketmaster International’s President, Mark Yovich said: “We are thrilled to be working with Formula E. Ticketmaster’s broad experience, and the global reach we offer to millions of sports fans, positions us perfectly to work with Formula E to grow this exciting new motorsport. We look forward to working with the team at the FIA Formula E Championship and providing the best possible service for motorsport fans.”

Francesca Triossi, Formula E’s Ticketing and Merchandising Manager, added: “Fans have been able to pre-register for tickets for several weeks now, but it’s great to have them officially on sale. We believe the first ever Formula E race in Beijing is going to be a fantastic spectacle with 20 top drivers racing around the ‘Bird’s Nest’ stadium and we hope fans, both in China and from overseas, will join us in celebrating a new era of motorsport.

“We’re also very pleased to be working with Ticketmaster as they are the only ticketing provider that had the capabilities to serve our global business. Their world-class technology and service, coupled with their distribution and reach will be beneficial not only to our business, but to fans of Formula E and motor racing across the world.”

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. Competing entirely on city-centre circuits – with races in China, Malaysia, Uruguay, Argentina, US, Monaco, Germany and the UK – 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 such as Sir Richard Branson.

Prices, further details and sale dates on forthcoming races will be announced shortly.

This article is a repost, credit: Formula E. Video courtesy of Formula E.

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Formula E partners with Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation

July 8, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV enthusiast, EV News, FIA Formula E

Photo courtesy of Formula E

Photo courtesy of Formula E

Organisers of the FIA Formula E Championship have today announced a joint partnership with the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, showing their support for the environmental actions led by the Foundation and helping to raise funds for future projects.

The Foundation, created by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco in 2006, is dedicated to the protection of the environment and the promotion of sustainable development. The Foundation’s efforts focus on three main sectors: climate change and clean energies, biodiversity, and integrated and sustainable water management.

Beginning this September in Beijing, Formula E is the FIA’s global motorsport championship featuring fully-electric open-wheel cars racing around 10 of the world’s leading cities including London, Miami and Monaco. The debut of Formula E ushers in an innovative age where a race on the world stage has become the platform to showcase and promote sustainable technology for the environment.

The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation joins previously announced ONE DROP as one of the official Formula E founding charity partners.

During each race weekend, Formula E will be hosting activities to help raise funds to be distributed between each official charity, along with projects across the country and other schemes in the local area.

HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation stated: “Formula E is a perfect illustration of what can be achieved in terms of clean mobility with electric vehicles. The move towards a low-carbon economy is one of the key challenges of this century on which global climate change and the level of adverse consequences for the planet’s population will greatly depend. The development of a series of spectacular and exciting races will certainly be a key factor for raising awareness of these crucial issues and we are both pleased and proud that the organisers, recognising the action implemented by my Foundation, have chosen to make it part of their commitment.”

Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E, said: “We are great supporters of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and their commitment to sustainability and green initiatives, which ties in with the ethos of the FIA Formula E Championship. We share many core beliefs and the goals associated with both companies are very similar: to raise awareness of environmental concerns and in turn promote renewable energy sources.”

Formula E is scheduled to race around the streets of the Principality on May 9 2015 and will be Round 8 of the 2014/2015 FIA Formula E Championship. Routes for the race are currently being finalised but as with all Formula E events, it will take place through the city streets, incorporating the historic Monaco harbour backdrop.

For more information on the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation click here.

This article is a repost, credit: Formula E. Video courtesy of Formula E.

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Formula E hits London

June 30, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV enthusiast, EV News, FIA Formula E

London ePrix track location revealed

Battersea Park has been confirmed as the venue for the Formula E London ePrix which hosts the season finale on June 27 2015.

The Deputy Mayor of London Sir Edward Lister revealed together with Alejandro Agag that the chosen location for the race would be within the grounds of Battersea Park in the Borough of Wandsworth, South London, with further details to be announced in due course.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Fast, fun, and no doubt furious, the FIA Formula E Championship race in London is set to provide an awesome addition to the capital’s sporting calendar. The atmosphere will quite literally be electric and Battersea, which is already booming with the buzz of regeneration, will be alive with the excitement that this new, world-class event will no doubt spark. Hosting the championship final of this all electric race is a fantastic feather in our city’s sporting cap. It shows that there is great confidence in London’s ability to stage the biggest and the best global sporting events, which play such an important role in boosting our economy and our international reputation.”

Michael Fallon, Minister of State for Business & Energy, was also present during the evening to discuss the burgeoning UK motor sport industry and Formula E’s contribution to it.

Photo courtesy of Formula E

Photo courtesy of Formula E

This article is a repost, credit: Formula E. Video courtesy of Formula E.

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INSIGHT: The Williams battery (Formula E)

June 25, 2014 in Battery Energy Storage, Electric Vehicles, EV enthusiast, EV News, FIA Formula E

Photo courtesy of Formula E

Photo courtesy of Formula E

In the world of motorsport there are few more illustrious names than Williams. With 113 wins scored by legendary drivers such as Alain Prost, Nelson Piquet and Nigel Mansell, only Ferrari and McLaren have been more successful in Formula 1 than the team Sir Frank Williams set up in 1977.

Over the past 45 years Williams has established a reputation for engineering excellence – indeed to this day it manufacturers more of the components of its F1 cars in house than any other team on the grid.

This reputation has led to its specialist skills being employed by some of the world’s biggest car manufacturers for a wide variety of projects. In the mid-1980s Williams Grand Prix Engineering was entrusted with the development of Austin Rover’s Group B rally monster – the Metro 6R4. And while it never lived up to expectations, subsequent tie-ups with Renault in the British Touring Car Championship and BMW at Le Mans in the 1990s echoed the enormous success the team was enjoying in F1.

A lot of Williams’ on track success stemmed from the technological boundaries it pushed. In the early 1990s its cars were the first to properly exploit active suspension and a fully automatic gearbox was almost ready to race before the sport’s rule makers outlawed it.

Regulation changes are a constant factor in Formula 1 and for 2008 the use of regenerative power units, which had previously been banned, was permitted. The arrival of this technology, which became known as KERS – Kinetic Energy Recovery System – prompted Williams to diversify the business and establish Williams Advanced Engineering.

While the company has been a great success, the vast majority of the work it undertakes is of the top secret development variety, but some of the projects it has been involved in such as the Jaguar C-X75 hypercar concept show just how far the regenerative technology has come.

Of course, one of Williams Advanced Engineering other projects is the design and manufacture of the batteries for the FIA Formula E Championship.

In a series that is unique and groundbreaking, the most innovative component of all is Williams’ battery. Built to a specification determined by the FIA in terms of power, charge time and longevity, the work that has gone into powering the world’s first all-electric racing series could only have been performed by a company with the racing pedigree of Williams – from being awarded the tender to running on track for the first test took just six months!

“There are very few organisations in the world that could have done what we did in effectively six months,” says Doug Campling, the technical lead for Williams Advanced Engineering’s motorsport programmes. “When you think about who else could have done it, it’s a very short list. There have been a lot of late nights! It’s hard to imagine another company that doesn’t have a racing history that would have the same ethos.”

In order to supply all 40 cars (plus spares) Williams has had to put in place a production line in the brand new ‘battery building’ that’s been erected at its headquarters in Grove, Oxfordshire.

Formula 1 race teams are essentially high-speed prototypers, quickly designing, testing and building new components that evolve the performance of the F1 car from race to race. However, the contract with Formula E is to produce a component that is 100 per cent consistent from one team to the next, and more over, one that is as powerful at the end of season two as it was at the start of season one.

“We have more energy in the battery than the FIA allows the teams to use,” reveals Okan Tur, the chief technical specialist for hybrid systems. “FIA regulations says the cell weight has to be limited to 200kg and the output of the battery can be no more than 28kw/h, so we designed a battery with some excess stored energy levels that stayed within the FIA regulations.”

Photo courtesy of Formula E

Photo courtesy of Formula E

While the sheer size of the Formula E battery means there’s no mistaking it for one Williams developed for its F1 programme, the knowledge flow between the programmes has been very evident. “In terms of electronic hardware architecture, it is 100 per cent the same just modified for the additional requirements of Formula E regulations,” adds Tur.

“Fire containment and suppression technology has been carried over,” says Campling, “we were able to advise on the temperature containment strategy. The structure has a built-in Faraday cage and thermal barrier, which is extremely important in Formula 1 where you have a battery and a fuel tank on top of it. We were able to demonstrate in Formula 1 that we could have a battery fire yet the temperature seen by the fuel cell was less than 70 degrees, and that we were able to pass this concept on to Dallara to build into their safety cell.”

The dimensions of the battery were determined by the available space within the design of the Dallara chassis. This created a challenge for packaging and installation that needed to be overcome from the start. The next challenge was in ensuring that the battery received sufficient cooling.

“Thermal management is at the core of the design because temperature defines the whole performance parameters in almost all racing cars and our battery is no different than that,” explains Tur.

Campling adds: “We had the basic architecture and we knew we could package the cells in a certain way but it would be very tight and we needed to get to a point in time where we could freeze the safety cell design as Dallara needed to manufacture the prototype and complete their safety tests.

“There were a couple of directions we could go with more liquid cooling or more air cooling. Obviously each driver has two cars, but we needed to consider the scenario whereby if you had an issue with one car – a repairable issue – you might need to use one car and then use it again straight away. To charge the battery in 45 minutes or an hour and simultaneously cool the battery down, ready to be used again meant that we had to have a pretty effective post-conditioning system. Liquid cooling provided the best solution”

When the FIA was creating the rulebook for Formula E it was decided that the battery safety cell would form part of the car’s structure, and that rather than changing batteries, for the sake of safety, the drivers would change cars instead.

This means that for the first time ever, a battery has been used in an FIA crash test – equivalent to the ones that F1 cars are subjected to.

“We were required to take part in the front impact test, where the chassis and battery are mounted to a sled and crashed into a hard wall and the energy is taken out in the nose structure and also the rear impact test, where you have the battery box with the gearbox and the crash structure bolted to it, and an impact sled driven into it,” says Campling. “We were able to demonstrate that all the battery health reporting and safety functions were in place after each test and the battery could still be used if needed.”

But what about changing batteries? Could it be done if the rules were written differently? “It would be quite an interesting technical challenge,” admits Campling, “we had a solution in Formula 1 that allowed the battery to be dropped out and plugged straight back in again with all the fluid and electrical solutions made and broken in a single incidence, so it is feasible for sure.”

Now that the supply is well underway, thoughts are turning to the first official test, which takes place at Donington on July 3 and 4, and the inaugural Formula E race in Beijing on September 13.

To get to China the cars will have to be airfreighted, and this has involved another series of safety tests for the battery to pass, something the unique segmented internal design proved unintentionally beneficial for.

“UN regulation 38.3 lays out the regime that each lithium-ion battery has to fulfill in order to be allowed for air transport,” says Tur, “which includes mechanical, thermal and abuse testing and we have passed all the tests and the battery is available for certification now.”

With the cars able to travel the world, the next step is to take electrical racing into the centre of some of the world’s biggest, and most polluted, cities. By creating an exciting spectacle, Formula E aims to change the perception of electric cars and promote their usage.

Campling fully endorses with this philosophy: “I think the advantage of what we’re doing is that it’s creating a groundswell of interest and a reason for accelerated development. The more public interest there is in EV vehicles in general, the more the major manufacturers with bigger budgets are going to spend on developing their products.”

But Tur reckons there will be a more tangible legacy from the technological frontiers Formula E is pushing through.

“There are a number of areas that Formula E will be pushing on: storage density – having more energy within the same weight – and charging times, and also the increased life. At the end of the day, with the additional power performance you can always have more life by trading the power. In these areas we will start pushing technology.

“For an example we have seen this in Formula 1. When Formula 1 started using KERS, immediately we saw power density increases in battery levels. And I believe that as we move on in the seasons we will see the FIA regulations push for improved energy densities in the batteries [in Formula E]. We will reach the point where we can very quickly charge the batteries and run long race durations.”

There’s an old saying that racing improves the breed, and Formula E is helping to improve the next generation of electric vehicles. This should mean a better quality of air – and thus life – for all of us.

This article is a repost, credit: Formula E. Video courtesy of Formula E.

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Formula E to race on streets of Long Beach in 2015

May 23, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV enthusiast, EV News, FIA Formula E

Photo courtesy of Formula E

Photo courtesy of Formula E

The FIA Formula E Championship, the world’s first fully-electric racing series, today 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.

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 rejoining 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.

Image courtesy of Formula E

Image courtesy of Formula E

Speaking about the track during the event driver Lucas di Grassi 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.

To find out more about the Formula E Long Beach ePrix and to view the track click here.

This article is a repost (5-22-14), credit: Formula E. Video courtesy of Formula E.

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Teams receive first delivery of Formula E race cars

May 16, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV enthusiast, EV News, FIA Formula E

Photo courtesy of Formula E

Photo courtesy of Formula E

The 10 teams competing in the new FIA Formula E Championship received their first batch of Spark-Renault SRT_01E race cars today (May 15), at the same time as the doors to their new state-of-the-art facilities were officially opened.

With both projects delivered precisely to schedule, each team received one fully-electric single-seater which has been designed and built by Spark Racing Technology, together with a consortium of the leading names in motorsport including McLaren, Williams, Dallara, Renault and Michelin.

Meanwhile their new 44,000ft² bespoke premises has taken 14 weeks to build and will house the teams for at least the next three years as well as provide offices, stores and workshops for Formula E’s own operational staff – a total of more than 150 people.

Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E, and Kevin Wheatcroft, owner and chairman of Donington Park, led the proceedings which were attended by more than 250 guests including newly announced Virgin Racing drivers Sam Bird and Jaime Alguersuari, e.dams co-team manager Alain Prost, regional members of parliament, the Chief Executive of North West Leicestershire Council, the Board of the Leicester & Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP), local dignities, partners and members of the press.

Alejandro Agag said: “Today marks a very significant milestone in the genesis of the FIA Formula E Championship. In September 2013 we launched this incredible fully-electric 150mph car and after more than 3,000km of rigorous testing we’re delighted to be now handing them over to our 10 teams. My thanks go to Frédéric Vasseur and his team at Spark Racing Technology for making this happen and all our car partners – McLaren, Williams, Dallara, Renault and Michelin – involved in its development.

“Today we also officially welcome our teams into their new bespoke facilities, built to the latest environmental and sustainable construction standards. The Donington Park team, led by Kevin Wheatcroft and Christopher Tate, together with the North West Leicestershire Council, the Leicestershire Local Enterprise Partnership and the Growing Places Fund should all be immensely proud of what they have achieved in such a short space of time. We’re delighted with our new operational headquarters and very pleased to be a part of burgeoning British motorsport industry.”

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). 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 and Leonardo DiCaprio. To date, four of the 20 drivers have been announced with Lucas di Grassi, Daniel Abt, Sam Bird and Jaime Alguersuari.

Kevin Wheatcroft, Chairman of Donington Park Racing Ltd added: “I would like to pass on my congratulations to the working group from Formula E, the construction companies and my staff here at Donington Park, who have made all this happen in just 14 weeks since construction started. It’s a proud day for everyone associated with Donington Park, now back at the heart of the British motorsport industry. We look forward to welcoming 150 highly trained specialist engineers who will be working here on site within the Formula E setup. We are also looking forward to all the other developments and improvements that are taking place; it’s certainly a very exciting time ahead for Donington Park.”

Donington Park will also provide the location for all Formula E pre-season testing beginning on July 3 with all five dates open free of charge to the public. The next delivery of Formula E cars arrives on June 16 with each team receiving their allocated four cars by July 15. The first of 10 city-centre races takes place in Beijing on September 13.

Formula E’s commercial aspects will continue to operate out of its London offices.

The event also saw Alejandro Agag presented with a fully-electric ZOE car by Technical Partner Renault.

For further details on Donington Park, including how to register free for pre-season testing, log on to

Photo courtesy of Formula E

Photo courtesy of Formula E

This article is a repost (5-15-14), credit: Formula E.

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Meet the Formula E TV commentary team

April 28, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV enthusiast, EV News, FIA Formula E

Meet the new host television commentary team for the FIA Formula E Championship. Four-time IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti joins as driver pundit alongside lead commentator Jack Nicholls. Nicki Shields will anchor all shows with Robert Llewellyn acting as technical expert.

Photo courtesy of Formula E

Photo courtesy of Formula E

This article is a repost (4-25-14), credit: Formula E. Video courtesy of Formula E.