Renault's support stems from the belief that the circuit will help publicize the value of electric vehicles and ultimately help sales of vehicles made by the Renault-Nissan Alliance. The company is citing a rather optimistic Ernst & Young study that says the races may help increase global EV sales by as many as 77 million units during the next quarter century, or by more than 3 million a year. Such purchases would cut oil consumption by four billion barrels, or about two-and-a-half times Japan's annual consumption. To put those numbers in perspective, research firm ABI says annual EV sales will jump by a factor of about 15 to about 2.3 million by the end of the decade.
Formula E kicks off its schedule next September in Beijing, followed up by races in Malaysia and Hong Kong. The first Formula E race in the US will be in Los Angeles in February 2015.