“Pushing boundaries in sustainability”: Formula E set to electrify London

The second season of the FIA Formula E Championship is headed for a nail-biting finale in London next weekend (2 3 July) that will decide the champion of the world's first all-electric single-seater series event.

The concept of an all-electric racing series has grown traction over the last two years, with the series heading to Beijing, Buenos Aires, Paris and Berlin to highlight the viability of electric vehicles (EVs) as a high-speed source of entertainment.

For the Visa London ePrix race at Battersea Park, Formula E has partnered with European solar company Lightsource to create an entire eVillage fan zone that offers solar powered mobile charging stations, 10 electric, solar-charged buggies for disabled transport and solar powered ticket booths.

Lightsource chief executive Nick Boyle said: “Both Lightsource and Formula E are aligned in our ethos of pushing the boundaries in sustainability. We are extremely proud to be working in partnership with Formula E’s operations team to deliver bespoke renewable energy solutions to the Visa London ePrix.

“This is the new world of electricity supply, where choice and control is at the forefront for consumers large and small. By powering the entire eVillage, we are hoping to demonstrate that renewable energy is definitely a reliable and credible source of power.”

The London race will see high-profile manufacturers Audi Sport and Renault e.dams battle it out for the championship, with just a single point separating the drivers of each team. Vehicle from BMW will also be present in the eVillage.

Formula E was established by the FIA, the governing body of world motorsport, to demonstrate the viability of EV technology in motor sport. To truly capture the low-emission movement, all cars are charged by generators that run on the almost emission-free fuel glyercine, which is reportedly so clean you can drink it.

An uptake in regulatory requirements has also opened up new powertrain possibilities, with cars surpassing a season one average speed of more than 75mph. Suspension innovations and motor and inverter solutions have supplemented the increase in speed without adding to fuel consumption.

Formula for success

Last year’s event saw sustainability chiefs from Formula E, IKEA, Marks and Spencer and Infosys – all partners of the Climate Group initiative RE100 – gather to implore businesses to invest and support a growing renewables market. In 2014, the first all-electric Formula E driving championship was broadcast live on ITV.

Earlier this week, the Renewable Energy Association (REA) unveiled a new sector group to represent members across the transport, energy and technology sectors as part of a wider effort to deliver a sustainable transition to low-emission vehicle uptake in the UK.

Matt Mace

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