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Racing Electric Cars Will Make Them Cool

Racing has allowed expensive technologies to find its way into our daily lives. Racing helps mature and develop new technologies, electric car racing will have the same benefits.


There’s no way to go at it any differently, this new electric propulsion system will get a chunk of the heart of the population when it races them. If you think about it, racing has always played an essential role in the automotive world that sees new technology first tested on the racetrack before making it into our daily drivers.

Fast, Speed, Range? The problem with racing electric cars is that none of the current races fit what these new cars can do. We cannot see just yet an electric Formula One car race duking it out for hours with the current state of technology that would limit such duels to a few lapses with long recharge time out. Of course there are different races we must create, the hardest part if winning the people over to it.

Getting People To Try Something New. If you’re a sports fan, you’ll know how far you’ll go for your favorite team. Racing is no different, but what needs to happen with racing electric vehicles is that people don’t expect a rematch of what the gasoline world does right now. In essence, people need to be intrigued about racing an electric car in ways that doesn’t remind them of what they’re used to, so they don’t ask for it either.

Endurance racing cannot happen at this stage since current electric cars don’t have the range and endurance, at least for the next few years. If funds were found to laden entire racetracks with wireless inductive chargers, electric car race would become a more palpable and feasible event. In the meantime, smaller Formula types of races should happen, although hill climbs and other rally race sanction event should allow electric cars. After all, distance is never a problem on these racetracks.

Racing a standard one-seater or two for prototypes is a tricky proposition for ether types in this new world. Racing will accredit electric cars in the eyes of the world when they finally see the incredible torque delivery an electric motor has.


Anonymous (not verified)    February 18, 2013 - 12:02PM

It's not true that none of the current races fit with electric cars. In the UK, there's sprinting and hillclimbing, with the top level being the British Sprint Championship and British Hillclimb Championship. The longest event is 3 miles, so it suits the high power, low energy density use case of electric cars to the tee. What better way to show off EV technology than by beating cars powered by F1 engines? In Europe, the hillclimbs are longer, but still a great match for EVs and Pikes Peak is making a name for itself by promoting EVs.

Eduardo Avendaño (not verified)    February 19, 2013 - 8:13PM

I think range shouldn't be an issue for electric car races. Instead of the very complicated alternative of covering the whole race track with wireless inductive chargers (which as you said it's technically feasible though extremely expensive) how about using battery swap stations? Probably it won't be the typical F1 pit stop, but with a well designed system, it shouldn't take longer than 1 minute to replace the battery of vehicle.
Nevertheless, I agree with you when you say that a good alternative is creating races that don't remind the public about typical combustion engine races.

Nicolas Zart    February 21, 2013 - 1:01PM

In reply to by Eduardo Avendaño (not verified)

At this stage of the game, anything would work. The advance of battery swap would be great but remember that racing has to be as close to people as possible. It's hard to get excited about a technology you will probably never see in your car. If they were recharge by fast chargers, or via induction, now that's something can expect to see soon in their electric cars.

Eduardo Avendaño (not verified)    February 21, 2013 - 5:06PM

In reply to by Nicolas Zart

Yeah, you have a point there... however, just to be very clear, as you surely know, battery swapping is a commercial reality, at least in Israel and Denmark. In the US, it didn't really take off, but it might at some point in the future.
But as you said, one way or the other, racing should definitely help for a faster market adoption of EVs.
Keep up with the good work on this site!
Cheers from Madrid.