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Electric cars

How Formula E is helping change the perception of driving electric

July 16, 2018 | Roger Atkins - Founder, Electric Vehicle Outlook

Very few people have ever plugged in an electric vehicle and powered it up ready for action. For sure, we read about them every day but, truth be told, what Electric Vehicles (aka EV's) are all about remains a mystery for most...

and if that happens to be you, fear not! It won't be that way for much longer!

You see, a quiet revolution is now well underway all around the world, heralding some extraordinary things for all of us - important things. Amazing people are busy as bees making that happen right now and, be assured, my friends, they are building a better world. Let me explain.

Just like the established auto industry, the energy industry has remained fundamentally unchanged in over a century.

  • Autos - with the combustion engine.
  • Energy - with centralised fossil fuel production and distribution.

Until now.

Only a few years ago (four in fact), a fresh-out-of-the-box racing series arrived on the scene. Where many notable motorsport ventures with grand ambition have failed to find traction in the past, this one, officially supported and FIA sanctioned, has not only survived, it has become super energised and attracted Incumbents and Disruptors alike from the auto industry.

Formula E is changing the consumer mindset

The FIA Formula E (E for Electric of course!) championship has plugged into the zeitgeist of these days of environmental consciousness and, more importantly, stirred multiple players into action! Like a magic magnet, the series has attracted a host of players around the world that now work collectively to accelerate the adoption of low carbon vehicle technologies - with mobility and energy at the forefront of all that.

Amazing partnerships are being formed connecting countries, industries, and people... you could perhaps call it a world-wide-web of benign business development. So with all that going on - how can the power be in your hands you might be thinking?

Well, for a start, FANBOOST! It's such a great idea to engage with fans – especially, but not only, the younger generation (NOTE to ED: we have, ‘push to pass’ button in other series’)! Each and every person that chooses to tap into the free Formula E App to vote for their favourite driver to receive an extra performance boost has, in prospect, a part to play in the race outcome... the fab Formula E website spills the beans on how that works!

The electric vehicle revolution

Powering up cities in preparation for the inevitable global electric vehicle revolution has been a key focus of everyone involved in Formula E, with perhaps the best example of how that is now an idea in action coming from the partnership between EVBox and NIO – a charging company supporting an EV manufacturer. Along the way, each and every city that has welcomed electric street racing has inevitably seen a truly invigorated focus on what happens long after the circus leaves town.

You see, this isn’t simply about watching electron powered race cars whizz around tricky city circuits – it’s about being an important and constructive catalyst for sustainable change.

As the Season 4 finale finished in New York City, see below our Q&A with NIO racers Luca Filippi and Oliver Turvey, right before the final race. Season 5 will see a switch to a bigger battery with more energy and power (they are different things of course!) in the new FIA designed Formula E Gen2 car. Such progress is evidence that things are moving forward quickly with the technology which is then rapidly feeding into the electric cars that we will all eventually ride around in.

In fact, power and energy management are at the heart of race strategy and NIO Formula E Team Principal, Gérry Hughes, is already looking ahead and focusing on preparations for the all-electric street racing season which begins again in December 2018.

More than just racing

Strategy for energy and power management are also a fundamental for EVBox of course, as they fashion a world where EV drivers can plug in and power up as and when they want to. Increasingly - and crucially - that energy flows from renewable energy sources and finds the perfect place to rest in a battery... ready for when you choose to use it.

In truth, some amazing things are progressing simultaneously to help us build that better place we mentioned earlier. Access to clean, shared mobility which is increasingly electric and connected - and personalised/localised energy production from solar and wind, are on the cusp of democratising both mobility and energy like never before.

These are, in fact, the building blocks of a timely revolution against the backdrop of global climate change and deteriorating local air quality.

And who has the power to plug all of this together and power it all up?

You do!... and not just when you choose to use or buy an electric vehicle and plug it in, put some solar panels on your roof, or monitor and manage your carbon footprint as much as you monitor and manage your bank balance.

So, whilst the role of government and big business remain crucial in truly resolving the twin imperatives of air quality and climate change – the power is truly in your hands to make the biggest difference.

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