Skip to main content

Electric 'Formula E' motor series to launch in 2014

updated 9:47 AM EDT, Wed August 29, 2012
French driver Alexandre Premat drives the electrical EFO1 Formula at Le Mans circuit, western France on September 24, 2010.
French driver Alexandre Premat drives the electrical EFO1 Formula at Le Mans circuit, western France on September 24, 2010.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • FIA president Jean Todt signs agreement to launch series in 2014
  • Electric car competition will be focused on city-center tracks
  • Brazil's Rio de Janeiro is the first host city to sign up
  • Todt says new series will attract a "younger audience" to motorsport

(CNN) -- A new global racing series is launching with hopes of rivaling Formula One, but there is one major difference -- the cars will all have electric engines.

The Formula E series has been backed by Jean Todt, president of motorsport's world governing body the Federation Internationale del'Automobile (FIA).

The former Ferrari F1 chief has signed an agreement with a group of investors to stage a series of races on city-center tracks.

The investors, who already have Rio de Janeiro signed up as a host city, plan to have 10 teams and 20 drivers ready to race in 2014, following a year of testing.

"This new competition at the heart of major cities is certain to attract a new audience," Todt told the FIA website.

Simulating the F1 experience
When Silver Arrows dominated F1
Stirling Moss: A history of Silverstone

"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."

Formula E's cars will be based around a prototype designed by French company Formulec. The 780 kg vehicles will have a maximum speed of 220 kmh (137 mph) and run on a lithium-iron battery that can provide 25 minutes' racing.

The chairman of the new series will be Alejandro Agag, who already supports teams in the FIA's GP2 and GP3 series.

"We see this as a great opportunity to create a new and exciting spectacle mixing racing, clean energy and sustainability, looking to the future," Agag said.

"We expect this championship to become the framework for research and development around the electric car, a key element for the future of our cities."

The FIA has been eager to encourage motorsport to lead the motor industry in harnessing the potential of electric engines, with innovations such as the KERS system -- which harnesses braking energy to provide an engine boost every lap -- already being adapted to mass production cars. From 2014, Formula One pit lanes will have to be electric only.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
updated 12:14 PM EST, Fri November 7, 2014
Glitz... check, glamor... check. Teams going bust... er, check. F1 generates billion-dollar revenues, so why can't some of its teams stay afloat?
updated 1:14 PM EST, Fri November 7, 2014
With the sport currently facing up to a financial crisis, motorsport journalist Ed Foster explores the history of F1 sponsorship.
updated 5:58 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
He's paid millions to drive one of the world's fastest cars, and he's one of F1's most colorful characters, but Kimi Raikkonen loves normality.
updated 1:45 PM EDT, Sun October 12, 2014
It took a little longer than expected but MotoGP's young star Marc Marquez wraps up his second world title in Japan.
updated 6:39 AM EDT, Thu October 9, 2014
Rising star Daniil Kvyat made history as the home hero at F1's first Russian Grand Prix, ahead of next season's move to Red Bull.
updated 9:58 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Take the fittest driver in Formula One and test him against two of the world's leading triathletes in a high-performance laboratory.
updated 12:04 PM EDT, Fri September 5, 2014
Mercedes has the fastest two cars in Formula One this season but there is just one problem -- there can only be one world champion.
He's the best of the rest -- Daniel Ricciardo has been Formula One's surprise package in the first half of the 2014 season.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
updated 10:43 AM EDT, Thu July 3, 2014
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
updated 7:10 PM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
ADVERTISEMENT