To paraphrase "Field of Dreams: "If you build them, they will go. Fast." Formula E Holdings, which has visions of an all-electric-powered Formula One type circuit series, is buying 42 EV racers from Spark Racing Technology, and is planning as many as 10 "urban races" as soon as 2014.

Formula E says it's bringing in McLaren Electronic Systems to design and produce the cars' powertrains, and says the racers will be "fast, reliable and safe." The group added that it's on the verge of announcing participating cities.

Regardless of when and where the races take place, Formula E says one of the competing teams will be led by Frédéric Vasseur, who helped build the Formulec EF01 electric-racing prototype in 2008. That car, which featured two Siemens motors that provided a 0-60 mph acceleration time of three seconds and a 155-mile-per-hour top speed, was unveiled at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. Check out Formula E's press release below.
Show full PR text
Formula E orders 42 Cars from Spark Racing Technology

15 November, 2012

CEO of FEH comments on McLaren – SRT Partnership

Formula E Holdings Ltd. (FEH) – the official promoter of the new FIA Formula E Championship – has announced the purchase of 42 electric Formula cars from the newly formed company, Spark Racing Technology (SRT). The cars will be used in the Formula E Championship inaugural race in 2014. SRT, led by Mr Frédéric Vasseur, onMonday announced it had reached an agreement with McLaren Electronic Systems to design and construct the powertrain for the first Formula E car.

Commenting on the purchase, Mr Alejandro Agag, CEO of FEH, said: "We are very pleased with the announcement made by Spark Racing Technology and McLaren. The high calibre of the respective manufacturers, SRT and McLaren Electronic Systems, has great relevance for our Championship and also shows their commitment to innovation, excellence and technology."

One of the cars under study
Formula E has declared itself as an 'open' championship. It has been working to encourage other car designers and constructors to build a Formula E car. The FIA technical regulations, to be published soon for the Championship, will ultimately set the framework for making such submissions possible.

Agag added: "We, as the promoter, are focusing our efforts to ensure racing venues will demonstrate the potential of electric Formula cars to spectators. Formula E wants to show that electric cars are fast, reliable and safe. Our mission is to establish electric cars as a real option for people's daily lives, one that will make our cities cleaner and more liveable."

The 2014 inaugural race will feature 10 urban races. FEH has already received interest from a large number of cities to host the 'E-Prix'. Formula E Holdings will soon define the list of venues that will be proposed to the FIA for hosting races in the first season. Announcements in some of these cities will be made in the coming weeks.

In placing an order of Spark Customer Cars, FEH plans to make 4 cars available to each of the 10 teams. In addition, one will be used as the official test car and a second one for the FIA crash tests. Should a team build and develop its own car, the remaining Spark Cars will be used for roadshows and other racing activities.

Until now, the team led by Frédéric Vasseur had been working on the French designed Formulec car, the first electric Formula car to be built. FEH acquired the Formulec technology last august and integrated the team into the FEH structure, showing its commitment to cutting edge electronic technology.

As the first electric Formula racing car using high performance lithium batteries, the experience with the Formulec prototype will serve as a basis for the new Spark cars and for other potential interested constructors. Vasseur worked with Eric Barbaroux (FEH Chief Operating Officer and co-founder of Formulec) and Pierre Gosselin (FEH CEO Special Advisor and co-founder of Formulec) in the team that developed the Formulec EF01 prototype electric racing car from 2008.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 13 Comments
      Giza Plateau
      • 20 Hours Ago
      I hope they have the wisdom to support battery swap. Otherwise it will be a lame 10 minute race. And they better have much better acceleration than 3 seconds as well.
        Dave D
        • 20 Hours Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        They are going for a one stop race with about 30-40 minutes between stops so the range is better than you think. And the acceleration is fine. That's not too far off what a Formula1 car can do. They don't sit around doing 0-60 races, that is for silly car ads, not racing. On the other hand, I agree with you, they should look at battery swap....but instead they've got some hair-brained scheme where they'll actually have TWO cars for each driver and he'll literally jump out and swap cars during the one pit stop! Talk about an expensive solution!
          Giza Plateau
          • 20 Hours Ago
          @Dave D
          If they can drive 30 minutes it means they have much too little performance. 30 minutes is less than 2C discharge on average.
      • 20 Hours Ago
      Never knew that paraphrasing meant to completely change the meaning of an existing statement. Come on guys, let's not make a mockery of Field of Dreams, especially when we all know the line from the movie and could recite it at a moments notice.
      Spec
      • 20 Hours Ago
      This will be a tough sell. If you eliminate the noise & pollution belching from race cars, many of the motorsports fans will lose interest. It is not so much a sport about technical driving skill, it is more about loud noises, big crashes, and testosterone.
        Giza Plateau
        • 20 Hours Ago
        @Spec
        Sure it's an element but volume is relative on tv so the gearbox whine can be enough. And the spectators might appreciate not losing their hearing
      goodoldgorr
      • 20 Hours Ago
      I found 2 cool films about them in youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDZ4VSFC6z0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDmagYyotNU Im interrested to see them on tv for a documentary or a race event.
        Dave D
        • 20 Hours Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        Thanks for the links gorr. Good to see them doing promotional work already.
      Dave D
      • 20 Hours Ago
      I hope this series can push the state of the art in batteries. One day we'll have the billions that Formula 1 throws at their cars, and that kind of money would really help. :-) I wonder how much the money F1 has already spent on KERS has helped to push things? I know they already have specialized versions of high power batteries or capacitors from various vendors. One day we'll find out about that when the secrecy lifts.
        Giza Plateau
        • 20 Hours Ago
        @Dave D
        I get the impression that Formula E isn't ambitious enough on the performance side so it might only enforce the impression that electric drive is second rate. Electric can match F1 so I think they should build cars that could be raced against F1 and pull away. Impressions like that are very important. Styling the cars after the X1 in GT5 with covered wheels would also catch attention.
          Dave D
          • 20 Hours Ago
          @Giza Plateau
          TOTALLY agree on the X1 styling. I keep hoping they will do that and surprise us. I mean, why not? They have a blank slate to start with on specs/regs so why not go for the dream car Adrian Newey would design if given a free hand? Frankly, anything less is criminal :-) And it would be better on aerodynamics which would be a huge boost on range...When you travel at 125mph plus for your average speed, you can lose more than half your energy just cutting through the air.
      DaveMart
      • 20 Hours Ago
      ' Formula E races would be an hour long, using cars which sprint to 62 mph in only 3 seconds. Future plans involve race circuits with wireless charging facilities embedded in the track surface. Alongside Rio di Janeiro, Paris, New York, Miami and others, London is one of the main cities being considered for the series.' http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1080312_londons-olympic-park-to-be-venue-for-electric-car-race-series
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