First Formula E car dazzles Las Vegas

Jan 07, 2014
Formula E's new fully-electric race car, the Spark-Renault SRT_01E, entertaining crowds at the 2014 International CES on January 6, 2014 in Las Vegas

The first Formula E car—part of an upcoming motor racing competition to put electric vehicles on the map—made its dazzling debut on Monday in Las Vegas.

The sleek Spark-Renault SRT-01E, capable of speeds above 225 kilometers (150 miles) per hour, will compete in the first Formula E Championship that begins in Beijing in September, part of 10 races sponsored by the FIA, the global governing body for motor racing.

"The Formula E is the future of the automobile, I think this will change the perception of electric vehicles," said Paul Jacobs, of Qualcomm, one of the corporate sponsors.

Formula E will have 10 teams, each with two drivers.

Brazilian driver Lucas di Grassi showed off the vehicle at a parking lot, demonstrating to spectators and media the capabilities of the fully electric machine.

"It's a different feeling from anything else," di Grassi told reporters, saying that "you have to be more precise... but it is more efficient."

Formula E chief Alejandro Agag said he hopes the championship will stimulate investment in electric vehicles and change their image.

"Formula E is a championship with a mission," he said.

"Electric cars have been perceived as slow... we want more consumers to get an electric car."

Formula E's new fully-electric race car, the Spark-Renault SRT_01E, is test driven around the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino during the 2014 International CES on January 6, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada

Jacobs said the investment from Qualcomm is part of the company's mission in getting more "connected devices" and improving technology in many sectors.

Qualcomm is working with automakers to get more connectivity for vehicle navigation, convenience and other functions, and has a long-term project seeking ways to wirelessly charge , possible through embedded devices in highways.

The Formula E car was on show as the Consumer Electronics Show got under way in Las Vegas.

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not rated yet Jan 07, 2014
what does the battery hot-swap look like?
5 / 5 (1) Jan 08, 2014
But will the hot chicks like them?
1 / 5 (1) Jan 08, 2014
The Formula E is the future of the automobile, I think this will change the perception of electric vehicles

No it won't.

It's still yet another example of electric cars being extremely expensive yet limited in capability as compared to their internal combustion counterparts. It doesn't solve any of the fundamental problems, and throwing money at a racing series like this will not accomplish the basic research needed - it's just showbusiness - it's almost like throwing money at Cirque Du Soleil to help develop fusion power.

It's still utility, range, price; pick one.

Although I'd like to see Formula E teams putting billions of dollars into universities and research centers and factories just to develop and commercialize the better cheaper batteries required to make the electric car actually worth the candle. Unfortunately that is not necessary for the purpose of going few laps around a track and then changing the battery.
5 / 5 (2) Jan 09, 2014
I completely disagree with Eikka.
Racing has made HUGE contributions to the world of cars, trucks, motorcycles and so on.
Racing gets eyes, ads, innovation and builds desire in the fans. My first car in the 70's and my present car have very little in common and a great number of the differences have to do with inovations which first showed up in racing.

It's like people who see NASA as a waste of money. Never acknowledging all the huge innovations and money making ideas that come as the result of NASA.

Racing has enormous implications on the industry that builds whatever is being raced. Even if it's the difference between a formula car and a Prius. The "cool" factor is still there. Anyone who thinks e racing won't effect e cars and the public perception isn't paying attention to the history of motorsports.

1 / 5 (1) Jan 17, 2014
Racing has made HUGE contributions to the world of cars

Operative word: "has". Not "will".

Racing has made great improvements due to the fact that traditional cars are made of technology that could be cheaply improved by people in sheds with a lathe. This technology then went on to the racetrack to be tested.

With electric cars the story is different because all the technology they should be improving, or the one thing specific to electric vehicles that they'd need to improve is not a thing you can improve by engineering it: the battery. You need proper hard nose science for that.
1 / 5 (1) Jan 17, 2014
Never acknowledging all the huge innovations and money making ideas that come as the result of NASA.

NASA mostly buys existing technology and adapts it for use in aerospace applications. Then pundits claim credit for NASA when someone else goes to the same source and innovates the technology for something else.

Like the Saturn V turbopumps they lifted out of oil field natural gas pumps. Now people think NASA invented the turbopump and the oil field engineers copied it.

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