FIA goes electric


The FIA, that top-heavy guardian of F1 is reported as planning a high profile electric racing championship series beginning in 2013 to be called the FIA Formula E Championship.  It is not known if the series will be run at the same venues as F1 but it can be expected to be held at a range of international venues and will logically serve as the first official championship for electric vehicles, although The Isle of Man TT has held races for electric motorcycles, called the TT Zero race category.  These bikes are no slouches either, with the winner lapping the IOM just under 160 km/h.

Hybrid manufacturers such as Toyota, Peugeot, Audi and Porsche are already mounting efforts to successfully race hybrid cars in sportscar racing over the next few years.

KleenSpeed EV-XII. KleenSpeed EV-XII.

The fastest electric race car in the world at the moment is the KleenSpeed EV-XII, and the company has already indicated it will become involved in the championship.

Other likely ‘works’ entries could come from the Renault-Nissan Alliance, and Nissan’s luxury brand Infiniti which will almost certainly produce an EV shortly.  The alliance already has more road going EVs in production than any other manufacturer – the Renault Twizy ZE, Renault Kangoo ZE range of commercial vehicles, the Renault Fluence ZE and Renault Zoe ZE, plus Nissan’s LEAF.

Other manufacturers could include Tesla and Toyota, BMW, Mercedes/smart, BMW/MINI, Honda, Audi, Tata, Ford, General Motors and Chrysler/Fiat.

The FIA is finalizing the Technical Terms and Conditions that will form the basis of a new Call for Expressions of Interest which is expected in the first quarter of 2012.  Each manufacturer will be requested to produce a minimum number of cars in order to guarantee a minimum field, and a “balance of performance” system would be put in place in order to guarantee the sporting interest of the Championship.

This Call for Expressions of Interest will be issued to identify and shortlist (at the latest in April 2012) those manufacturers that are in a position to commit to take part in the 2013 FIA Formula E Championship, either directly or/and via teams.