With an eye toward fostering electric-powered F1 competition, Jean Todt, president of the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile), said it plans to begin with electric auto, go-kart, and single-seater racing.
The first season could come as soon as 2013, he said, and plans for a series and championships are comprehensive. “We want as soon as possible to have new categories with new energy,” Todt told the Financial Times. “As much as we can do it all over the world, we will do it.”
The idea dovetails with a number of Europe-wide public transportation initiatives to switch to electric power in coming years. Plans for European cities call for a 50-percent reduction of petrol-powered cars by 2030, and utterly phasing them out by 2050.
Todt has been encouraged to start on a similar path in the racing world by Antonio Tajani, the European Union’s industry commissioner. The idea is that witnessing high-powered electric F1 and other race cars will promote EV’s overall acceptance. Tajani has said he would at least like EU-based racing to promote electric cars.
But Todt is expected to meet opposition from Bernie Ecclestone, president and CEO of Formula One Management and Formula One Administration. Ecclestone is already against hybrid turbo F1 racers proposed for 2013, and would likely disagree with all-electric because alternative tech is not as competitive.
“The racing community are only interested in how to improve performance because they want to win,” he said.
Presently, the world’s quickest EV the Shelby Ultimate Aero EV does 0-60 in 2.5 seconds, about a second slower than an F1 car. How long EVs could race, and how quick re-charging pit stops would be handled for longer races is also in question.
[Source: The Telegraph]