Why Formula E is so necessary

When Alejandro Agag announced the inception of the world’s first all-electric racing series in 2012, most people would have forgiven you for dismissing the whole concept as a ludicrous farce that was destined to fail.

However, after seven series (and albeit with some bumps in the road) the championship has made an undeniable impact on motorsport and the global adoption of groundbreaking EV technology.

Ushering in a new age for motorsport, season one began in 2014 with the championship (the first of its kind) racing in the heart of some of the world’s most polluted cities. Using all-electric open-wheel cars, the series sought to raise awareness of climate change and the environmental impact of the automotive industry. However, with each driver forced to switch to a second car midway through the race, the championship struggled initially to drum up significant support.

The breakthrough eventually came with the second generation of Formula E cars in 2018. With a new specially designed lightweight battery, the cars became faster (with a top speed of 280 km/h) and more efficient with drivers able to complete races with a single car. As a result, top manufacturers including Mercedes and Porsche entered the fray to test and develop their new electric technology in arguably the closest fought motorsport championship on the globe.

Unlike Formula One, Formula E championships are rarely clear cut, with neither drivers nor constructor’s championships settled before the final corner of the final race of the season. This format arguably provides two clear benefits. For constructors, it provides a level playing field where, rather than being fought principally by aerodynamicists and engineers, each race is effectively a ‘tech race’ with teams forced to dedicate time and resources to creating new and innovative ways to extract every ounce from their battery, while still remaining conscious of energy management. Meanwhile, for adrenaline junkies, Formula E never delivers a dull race with an impressive field of twenty-four drivers risking everything to secure the prestige of being crowned King at the end of the season.

Despite the growing viewer figures and the continued manufacturer involvement in the championship, many still question the “real” impact of Formula E. However, what cannot be argued are the cold hard facts.

Motorsport has always accelerated change within the automotive industry, with several race car innovations, including brake discs and seatbelts, soon finding a place within road cars. And in the dawn of a new electric era, Formula E has been no different than its petrol predecessors. For instance, the number of electric car models available in Europe is now six times larger than in 2014, just before Formula E commenced its inaugural season. Meanwhile, the best selling EV’s in Europe now have three times greater battery capacity and range.

Formula E was also the first sport to declare a net-zero carbon footprint, an achievement recognised globally at UN Climate Week in 2020, with the championship’s ‘Purpose Driven’ movement not stopping there in driving forward its mission of environmental, economic and social sustainability.

And as for the championship’s place in motorsport? It is now identified as an FIA World Championship, placing it on a level footing with Formula One.

The birth of Formula E signified, in many ways, the birth of a new era for motorsport, an era more conscious of sustainability, diversity and equality and we can’t wait to see where it goes next!

Related News Stories

PRmoment award logo
Red Marlin in the running for PR industry award
Does your business need an automotive PR MoT?
Five top tips to improve readability