Last week’s poll: has Formula E ‘changed the game’ for electric cars?

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Formula E is returning to London next year where teams will end season six racing around a 2.4km circuit through the Royal Docks and ExCel Centre.

With 23 corners, the track will take drivers along the waterfront at the docks and through part of the ExCel centre as part of Formula E’s season finale double-header on July 25 & 26.

The chances of thrills and spills will be maximised if the track races as well as Formula E’s urban circuits around the world, which can’t always be said for race days at Monaco and Singapore during the F1 season.

London is no stranger to Formula E, with Battersea hosting the capital’s first foray into the race series. On returning to the city, Alejandro Agag, chief executive and founder of Formula E said: “Formula E coming back to the UK extends beyond pure racing excitement, it’s also a strong message for London to tackle inner-city air pollution by promoting clean technologies and electric sustainable mobility.”

Race sponsor ABB makes no secret of being committed to ‘running the world without consuming the earth’ and sees the race series as ‘one of the most exciting developments in sustainable transport and sport today.’

Formula E
Trio of Formula E cars (Pic: FIA)

Excitement was foremost in Agag’s thinking when formulating Formula E, with the onus on electric motors providing instant torque, leading to faster acceleration and potentially more overtaking manoeuvres.

Manufacturers were encouraged to design their own powertrain, after initial launch years when all the teams used essentially the same vehicle. As noted by The Engineer, the idea was to focus on powertrain developments rather than Formula 1’s emphasis on aerodynamics, to encourage development of electric vehicle technology and restore the “race-to-road” link that had always driven motorsport.

But has all this effort in Formula E ‘changed the game’ for electric cars? Nearly half (46 per cent) of respondents to last week’s poll agree that Formula E has encouraged manufacturers to improve electric vehicle technology, followed by 19 per cent who concur with the assertion that Formula E has changed the image of EVs.

A total of 32 per cent of the vote is split equally between those that think Formula E can’t compete with Formula 1, and those who don’t think the electric race series has made an impression. The remaining three per cent opted for none of the above.

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