Leonardo DiCaprio and Sir Richard Branson have set up teams ahead of the inaugural racing series
4/28/14 8:38 pm chumakdenis 1
It's not the secret for everyone that all of us must think about our environment.But can electromobiles find firm footing in such sport as racing?Do EVs have enough horse power?Actually, yes.
Formula E series starts in the summer
Final testing has taken place on the racing cars to be used in the first ever all-electric Formula E series which starts in the summer.
Will it work?
Formula E has been criticised in the past and dubbed "the milk-float challenge" by motorsport fans but the momentum is building around the new sport.
Speaking from the test track in Clermont-Ferrand, four-time F1 Champion Alain Prost admits there are a lot of unknowns about the technology.
He said: "I'm very pleased to see the car running. I hope we have a good first championship in September and we are very curious about what's going to happen - it's a big challenge."
One of the biggest challenges facing the sport is battery power. At the moment, after 18 months in the garage and 1,500 miles of track testing, Formula E cars will only be able to race for half the race (30 minutes) before drivers have to hop out and into a fresh car to carry on racing.
Racing has a history of improving technology for everyday motorists though. Disc brakes, fast ignition buttons and tyre improvements are all credited to have come from the garages of competing engineers.
Motorsport journalists say the sport needs to be a success in its first year in order to attract the engineers and investment needed to improve things.
Simon Arron from Motorsport Magazine was at the track tests in France and told Sky News: "There's always cynicism around new categories of motorsport - we've seen new ones in the last 10 years or so and they pop up, survive for a year or two and they gently fizzle out.
"The sound of the cars will take some getting used to but I think Formula E has a fighting chance. I think it's inevitable that new technology will be spawned by the series.
"It's not going to happen overnight but I think if you're testing any new technology to the extreme limits which is what is done in motorsport, that will generate improvements for everyday motoring in the long term."
The series starts in September with the first race held in Beijing.
Some interesting facts
Actor Leonardo Dicaprio, businessman Sir Richard Branson and Formula 1 legend Alain Prost have all set up teams ahead of the inaugural racing series and will receive their identical 150mph cars on May 15.
The well-funded racing series backed by the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) will host 10 zero-emission races in 10 cities around the world including London.
The sport was set up with the aim to spark interest in electric cars and boost innovation in the technology used to run them.