The Winter Olympics in Socchi, Russia, begin soon and sports fans are also already talking about the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Brazil this summer. However, both events will come and go before you know it. One sporting focus that could see lots of attention from racing and technology fans and also show staying power in a crowded sports calendar this year is FIA's Formula E racing.
Formula E is an all-electric car race through city circuits at speeds exceeding 140mph. Imagine racing Spark-Renault SRT_01E single-seater electric cars on closed street circuits and under brightly lit night events. It does sound pretty cool considering Formula 1 races are not permitted on many street circuits because of noise pollution concerns. Of course pit stops will be rather different considering lithium batteries at top speeds could power down after 20 minutes of racing; so drivers won't just change their tires, they'll literally jump into new cars.
The Formula E season is scheduled to start this week in Las Vegas with the first championship race slated to be held this September in Beijing. Races thereafter will be held in nine other major cities around the world. The beauty of these races is that they not only showcase new automotive technologies in the racing cars but also raise more awareness of the benefits of driving cleaner EVs in congested cities. With Renault, which actively develops EVs with strategic partner Nissan (OTC:NSANY), actively involved with Formula E, it may not be too long before automakers like Toyota (NYSE:TM), who exited Formula 1 racing in 2009, join in as well to develop and promote next-generation autos and stay connected with consumers interested in EVs.