• Apr 4, 2011
Are you prepared for Formula One, Electric Boogaloo? Jean Todt, President of the FIA, apparently is, and he hopes to introduce a few new racing series that will provide a platform for an electrified Formula One racing series.

Before we get to see a fully-fledged electric F1 league, The Telegraph reports that Todt plans to roll out electric car, go-kart and single-seat events. The goal is to increase awareness of electric propulsion and drum up support for its use in a variety of motorsports applications.

Jean Todt may have a tough road ahead of him, though, thanks to assumed opposition from F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone. Todt is looking to bring hybrid powerplants to F1 and Ecclestone has already voiced his opposition to that plan. We're going to guess that Bernie won't take too kindly to all-electric racing either.

[Source: The Telegraph | Image: Roni Rekomaa/AFP/Getty]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 35 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is good for the EV industry in general. We can have teams who are willing to throw millions and millions of dollars into research to build the best performing EV system, no other agenda. No need to worry about keeping costs down and all the other parameters that come with designing a pedestrian EV.
      • 3 Years Ago
      And I was disappointed when they said F1 would move to 1.5L 4 cylinders (with no wild boost like in the 80's), EV only F1 is much worse! Keep F1 with the stratospheric revving piston engines they are known for, maybe with KERS, and save all electric for maybe a separate league, probably called "F0" (Formula Zero emissions). The two can coexist. Actually, they should do it Le Mans style and race two classes of car in the same race, in this case, F1 and "F0", to see how the two compare. The contrast would make the races much more interesting, especially if the F0 cars look significantly different from F1. Time will tell when the electrics are able to keep up with the petrols in a long race, as battery tech advances, and the drivers can rotate between the 2. One problem with electrics is that there would be no engine sound, no gears, and top speed will likely be much lower as a result, but acceleration would be pretty good. This way, everybody wins. Now with all the fuel saved in the electrics, how about bringing back some V10's and V12's?
        • 3 Years Ago
        All good ideas. But you could certainly have an EV with two or more gears to get top speed. The first version of the Tesla Roadster had a two speed transmission, but they had reliability issues when trying to make one that could take all the torque (and the _huge_ RPM change) when shifting. It would only last about 10K miles. That's no good for a consumer car, but fine for a race car with funding for replacements. Most EVs only have one gear since that's all they need.

        Also, I think battery swaps would be great as long as the car is designed for it. Sure it means jacking the car up and carting in a new battery. But if Better Place can do it automated under a minute, an F1 pit crew should be able to do it in seconds and change the tires at the same time. Ideally there would be several spare battery packs that could be fast charged so a fresh pack is always ready.

        An "F0" series could be great as long as it's done right and not set up to fail.
      Pug_Power
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wouldn't mind a separate series with electric cars, but I think we'll have to wait a while for electric F1 cars, especially considering the limitations of the technology. Perhaps the sport will help innovate and trickle down to consumer cars. That being said, electric cars can be very, very quick, so speed isn't the issue, it's getting all the bits sorted.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Pug_Power
        The bits are sorted and it is ready.

        We are at the forefront of something really awesome and i am glad the big ups are interested in giving a good venue of it.

        There are already various electric racing events here in Portland, OR ( where the white zombie hails from ), can't wait to see it go mainstream.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Pug_Power
        the tech is here now. and the teams spend big buck so they will likely be able to push further. and that's what their role should be. not a bastion of ignorance as they are now.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I used to race battery powered RC cars. Those things were wickedly fast, had a great screaming noise (nothing like an F1 engine though). The competition was always great. I wondered why there wasn't a full size series dedicated to this. You could have quick battery changers develop, which could trickle down to production too.

      I think this could be a very well supported series from a manufacturers standpoint if it is done right. F1 has advanced cars to an incredible degree, I think this kind of racing could do the same for electric technology in production cars.
      • 3 Years Ago
      IMHO - Considering how some of the best tech in road going cars come from motor racing, a proper racing series for electric cars would be a good investment.
      • 3 Years Ago
      That's gonna be one really quiet F1 race...
        • 3 Years Ago
        ...before some elf-and-safety nuts step in and introduce buzzers to warn mechanics a car is coming.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Not true.

        Not all motors are quiet. Straight cut gears add noise, even helical ones do.

        At high power any electric motor will have a whine. Some sound shrill, others sound freaking badass.

        Check out this axial flux motor, about 1 min into the video.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wntj5V-2k-I&feature=related

        I wouldn't mind hearing a racetrack full of those.
      • 3 Years Ago
      They already tried the "Formula Zero" series, using "fuel cell" powered go-carts that, by 2015, were supposed to be up to the level of F3 cars and surpassing F1 shortly thereafter. They just cancelled said series due to the lack of interest, and competition from Formula SAE and Formula Student.
        • 3 Years Ago
        battery drive is much better. fuel cell cars is something the oil companies are promoting because they know it's a lie and they keep selling their oil
      • 3 Years Ago
      Extremely interested in an electric go-kart class. motors are pretty cheap when you consider the dont require frequency rebuilds. TaG karts could really benifit from electric motors. tons of torque and none of the bad smells. Small format lithium batteries are more then plenty ready to supply the power as well as the range.

      I say do it. there are tons of EV junkies just waiting to race ev's. NERDA has done great things for electric drag racing, but those interested in turning are left waiting.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Great !!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sounds great to me. Racing had a huge part in advancing the ICE to where it is today. I imagine it would have the same effect on the development of batteries and electric motors. Of course, they could bypass batteries all together and have some kind of crazy induction track...

        • 3 Years Ago
        SLOT CARS FTW!!!
        Sorry that's all that comes to mind with an electrically powered track :)
      • 3 Years Ago
      Im sure there might be a certain appeal of hosting/watching an electric car race, but half the fun of going to the races is getting to experience the sound of a race engine (especially a F1 V8 wailing at 18K RPM). I wouldnt go, thats for sure. I might tune into a race or two on TV, but even that would be odd. I cant imagine seeing cars go around a track, and being able to hear crickets chirping in the background. FAIL.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Ill call your axial flux motor and raise you a variable field motor. IMO the prettiest looking and sounding motor out there (granted that there are much much more practical solutions).

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_41btVawMc (30s clip)
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ 2 wheeled menace

        That is no doubt a cool sound, but I very seriously doubt anyone will be able to hear that except perhaps the driver.

        I've never heard an electric motor scream as loud as an ICE with little/no sound control.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Sultan: variable field motors are cool, but i prefer the grumble of an axial flux motor. Those things sound mean.

        KDAWG: obviously you haven't heard enough electric motors.

        The bigger the motor, the louder it is.
        Some designs are rediculously loud, some not. Brushed is extremely loud, brushless usually isn't but there are exceptions.

        Often what you are hearing is the transmission. Not exciting in itself.

        Notice how in gas racing, many people are moved far away from the cars to avoid the exhaust fumes, and lower the noise.

        I think electric racing will move the people closer so that they can hear the motors.

        Anyway i have a 30mph electric bike with a planetary gear transmission. It has a pleasant sound ( to me ). I recently got it up to 36mph.. the higher the pitch of the motor the more pleasing IMHO.. i guess it is an acquired taste. You start to associate the sound of an electric whine with "holy crap that's going fast!"

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCFQN5Q5ApU

        ^--there's my bike
        • 3 Years Ago
        You got it 100% wrong, not all electric motors are completely silent. They vary in the amount of noise they make.

        Listen to this motor take off like a damn jet...

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVv0NVLFPig&feature=related

        Pair an axial flux motor with some straight cut gears and you got a nice futuristic whine.
        Sounds like a V8 spinning into RPMs that are impossible on a combustion engine.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wntj5V-2k-I&feature=related

        Check this out; sounds like a combustion engine actually. skip to about 1:10 in.
      • 3 Years Ago
      NNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!
    • Load More Comments