In case you may not have already guessed but we here at Goosed (that will take some getting used too) are big fans of everything tech and motorsports such as Formula 1 have always been a gateway into what tech we should expect to see in our cars in the future. Until now that is! Formula E is now here showcasing everything the electric engine could be and more.
While Formula E has been around for around four years already, in recent times the sport has gained a new following thanks to their mission of advancing electric vehicle technology and shape the cars of the future. It’s gained such a following in recent years there has even been discussions about Dublin getting its very own race, not bad considering TV3 already own the rights to broadcast the series.
So for all you car nuts out their that love a little bit of tech and gadgetry here is everything you need to know about Formula E:
What’s the difference between Formula E and Formula 1?
You would assume Formula 1 and Formula E are fairly similar…right? Well not exactly, although they come from the same family the two sports are very different. Not unlike an 11 a side vrs a 5 a side football game, while the basics are still the same certain rules can differ greatly.
Nowadays a Formula 1 car will use a hybrid engine, like a massively souped up Prius. Formula E however as the name suggests relies on fully electric vehicles like a Nissan Leaf or a Tesla. Oh and all of the races are held on the city streets instead of a racing track, because why the hell not.
So what the craic with the cars?
To put into perspective how seriously companies are taking this sport in order to push their full electric engine technologies all we need to do is see the list of teams competing in the series:
- Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, Germany
- DS Virgin Racing, UK
- Panasonic Jaguar Racing, UK
- Venturi Formula E Team, Monaco
- DRAGON, USA
- Renault e.dams, France
- NIO Formula E Team, China
- TECHEETAH, China
- Mahindra Racing, India
- Andretti Formula E, USA
Yup so that’s Jag, Virgin, Audi and Renault all onboard with the roster set to grow even further in the coming years.Nissan, Porsche, BMW and Mercedes will all be joining in the next couple of years. Fingers crossed we see a Tesla Formula E car in the near future, just to see Elon Musk and Richard Branson forced to sit in the same room.
Sorry I got sidetracked on that through but to be fair to these E cars it’s under the bonnet where they really come into their own. The standard Formula E car can hit around 140mph and can go from 0-60 in 3 seconds, which is really good for an electric engine. The cars have also doubled in speed in the last two years so it will be interesting to see just how far this tech can be pushed. To fuel these next generation sports cars each vehicle is charged by electricity, created using generators that run on a virtually emission free fuel – glycerine. Glycerine is a sweet, syrupy liquid obtained from animal fats and oils or by the fermentation of glucose. The fuel used for Formula E cars is so clean that a human can drink it. Probably wouldn’t recommend it but each to their own I guess.
How long would you charge an iPhone for? 3/4 hours maybe more? well due to this fuel and smart engine technology a Formula E car will only use around 180kW of energy the equivelant of 4 years of iPhone charging. That’s some serious juice these cars are running off.
So how does the race work?
Ok so first things first a Formula E race is much much shorter than their F1 cousins. The standard race time in this series is about an hour, so it won’t take most of your Sunday mornings away. Rather uniquely practice, qualifying and the E-Prix ( yup, that’s what they call it) all takes place on the same day. Which is nice because Formula 1 supporters can be glued to the action from Friday till Sunday afternoon.
Points are awarded to the top 10 racers as follows:
- 1st – 25pts
- 2nd – 18pts
- 3rd – 15pts
- 4th – 12pts
- 5th – 10pts
- 6th – 8pts
- 7th – 6pts
- 8th – 4pts
- 9th – 2pts
- 10th – 1pt
Additionally the driver with the fastest lap in the top 10 also earns an additional point.
Where can I watch?
You can watch Formula E races on TV 3 or on the Formula E Youtube Channel. If you like the look of this new age motorsport here is quick rundown of the rest of the seasons calendar. Here’s hoping Ireland can get a race soon, just so we can have a go on the simulator!
- Sao Paulo, Brazil on March 17
- Rome, Italy on April 14
- Paris, France on April 28
- Berlin, Germany on May 19
- Zurich, Switzerland on June 10
- New York, USA on July 14 & 15
- Montreal, Canada on July 28 & 29