Nevermind Formula 1 racing: get ready for Formula E. E for electric, of course.
In 2014, the new motorsport series will launch, featuring electric race cars. Despite the name, however, Formula E racing shares little in common with its predecessor. Hour-long races will consist of three segments and, thanks to the electric cars' low noise output, the races will take place in city centers around the world. Rio de Janeiro has already signed on to be a host city for the event.
Because of battery life constraints, drivers will change cars during two pit-stops during the race. The series is set to include 10 teams of two cars when it launches in 2014, with a planned expansion to 14 teams in 2015.
British business Lord Paul Drayson's Lola-Drayson B12/69EV, pictured above, is one example of an electric vehicle that can do 0-60mph in three seconds. SmartPlanet's Mark Halper has written about the model.
The Formula E series is backed by Spanish real-estate billionaire Enrique Banuelos, and it has been endorsed by the International Automobile Federation (FIA), which governs Formula 1.
"This spectacular series will offer both entertainment and a new opportunity to share the FIA values and objectives of clean energy, mobility and sustainability with a wider and younger audience as well," said Jean Todt, president of the FIA.
Photo: University of Warwick