We'll admit, the idea of the Formula E is an exciting one to us – all-electric, open-wheel racers silently zipping around on the streets of the world's greatest cities should appeal to any futurist/racing enthusiast. As the series approaches the start of the inaugural, ten-race season in Beijing, we're learning a bit more about FE and what it hopes to accomplish.

Xcar has a great new video that features a number of conversations with those involved in Formula E, including Formula One icon Alain Prost, Series President Alejandro Agag and driver Lucas di Grassi. They talk about what the series hopes to achieve, how it's different than (and similar to) F1 and how it will impact civilian-spec electric cars.

Take a look below for the video.


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  • 23 Comments
      Bernard
      • 6 Months Ago
      I can't wait to see these races! This is will be huge benefit to the development of battery technology. The BEV future is looking very bright indeed.
      RGT881
      • 7 Months Ago
      "...silently zipping around on the streets of the world's greatest cities should appeal to any futurist/racing enthusiast." I consider myself to be someone who embraces future technology and I am a racing enthusiast, but Formula E does not appeal to me in the slightest. Going to a motorsport event and not have proper beastly engine sound (the soul) is akin to going to a rock concert and have performers play mellow jazz at turned down volume.
        porosavuporo
        • 7 Months Ago
        @RGT881
        Bring an ipod with your favorite engine roar, perhaps ?
        porosavuporo
        • 7 Months Ago
        @RGT881
        They'll pass out wireless headsets maybe like at silent discos with people who want engine sounds. Choose between 3 channels
          RGT881
          • 7 Months Ago
          @porosavuporo
          and the artificial nature of this solution makes it even worse.
        itsme38269
        • 6 Months Ago
        @RGT881
        Then I contend that you are not a technologist nor are you a racing enthusiast. The point of racing is to get to the end the fastest. They don't give the trophy to the guy who made the most offensively loud noises. They give it to the guy who got to the end first. And to claim you are a technologist and yet embrace dinosaur technology also seems a bit backwards. Besides, noise is inefficiency. Any energy spent making noise is not being spent making the car go faster. Which, as we have established, is the whole point of racing.
      herrstreet
      • 7 Months Ago
      I'm very much in favor of this because if it can become popular, perhaps it will help drive battery technology and applications.
      Tweaker
      • 7 Months Ago
      You will never see F1 race in London, but you will see Formula E. Which is better for fans, that more can see car racing easily or that the cars make more noise at remote, obscure racetracks?
        RGT881
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Tweaker
        How would seeing race cars would be any easier at a street course? Are you talking about design, or? I would imagine that a street course would have left and right turns and go around buildings, so if anything, it would be more difficult to see the racing action. I don't quite get the logic behind your premise.
      Dave D
      • 7 Months Ago
      I'm looking forward to what they'll do with the cars starting in the second year when they are able to start adding their own twists to the tech. It will be interesting to see if they can advance the battery, motor and inverter tech to make a difference. Maybe we'll see someone with some new SiC inverters that require no cooling and are about 75% smaller and lighter? What new battery tech will they try? Hey, it's racing and they'll be free to do some new tech starting that second year. That's what used to be so great about F1 and even Indy until they started banning pretty much anything new to control costs. The reason there's been an aero war for the last 10-15 years in F1 is because they took away all their mechanical grip and stopped engine development, stopped suspension development...what else could they focus on but Aero???
        wtrmlnjuc
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Dave D
        Yeah I can't wait for second year. First year will be interesting to see them race, but the second year is where things are going to be taking off.
      imag
      • 6 Months Ago
      The funny thing is that they don't take advantage of the Delta Wing shape, which uses half the power to go just as fast. It would be a perfect match for an EV racing car. But we are stuck on our four traditional wheels.
        white_blur47
        • 6 Months Ago
        @imag
        Why do you think that it is a "better shape"?
          BipDBo
          • 6 Months Ago
          @white_blur47
          Many reason make the deltawing / ZEOD design superior. The short answer as to the question of why is, "physics." Less aerodynamic drag is likely the biggest reason. It's weight distribution puts a much greater portion over the rear, wide spaced wheels. These rear wheels have torque vectoring. So it accelerates quickly and whips around turns. It also is made to draft, so good for close racing. Over all of the factors, the total package can go around a course in the same lap time as a LMP or open wheel, but do it using a smaller engine and less fuel. If this layout were used on E formula, rather than dragging two huge barrels (front tires) through the airstream, then the cars could either have smaller batteries or do more laps. Even though physics favors the triangle, the founders of E formula likely worried that it may look to weird for something that they are trying to get accepted into mainstream. Despite the poor aerodynamics, they need the aesthetics of cool looking open wheels to attract lovers of traditional Indy and Formula rather than a big flying phallus. There was another preliminary design for E formula that put the driver on top of batteries even allowing swappable packs. Despite being a mechanically, physically superior design, it looked weirdly tall and therefore lost out.
      jebibudala
      • 7 Months Ago
      They better have "garbage truck backup beepers" broadcasting continuously during the race just to make other drivers aware of each others presence. Can someone edit that sound into the video please? That'd be awesome.
      Hek!
      • 7 Months Ago
      I'm just waiting for the same journalists who dissed the sound of the new F1 to start singing the praises of this series... Oh hold on, it's started even before the first race..
      Kuro Houou
      • 7 Months Ago
      The only downside I see is they are all street circuits.. probably the most boring tracks of any series as passing is near impossible and speeds are much slower. Give me some great tracks like Monza and the new Circuit of the Americas, then we might have a real show.
      spanner76
      • 6 Months Ago
      They look to similar to the current stock of indycars.. with a mix of late 90's F1 design elements.
      Simon
      • 6 Months Ago
      Holy **** is that Robert Llewellyn? I remember him on Junkyard Wars.
        aatheus
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Simon
        You should check out his series on Youtube, Fully Charged. Great info on renewable energy, electric cars, and so on.
      BipDBo
      • 6 Months Ago
      It looks like those front wheels are fitted with CamberTires.
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