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F1A Formula E Championship begins in Beijing

 Race car driver Lucas di Grassi demonstrates Formula Es new fully-electric race car, the Spark-Renault SRT_01E
Race car driver Lucas di Grassi demonstrates Formula Es new fully-electric race car, the Spark-Renault SRT_01E
Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

The FIA has announced that it will now run Formula E Motor Shows at its new race circuits in order to provide fans the opportunity to “experience” the new technology up close and personal, including innovation, speed and safety according to Formula ECEO Alejandro Agag, who went on to state that the Formulas E Shows are also being designed to “help remove the barriers to the electric car market and change any misconceptions people may have regarding electric car ownership both on and off the track.”

“I am delighted to be launching this series of exciting events,” added Justin Tadman, CEO of the Formula E Shows. “Consumers will be able to meet and speak with the manufacturers and get to know all about their hybrid and electric vehicles while attending races being held at city center tracks.” In addition, he emphasized that the shows will aid in “speeding up interest in using sustainable and clean air motoring solutions in line with our objectives for the racing Championship”

The FIA E series will begin September 13, 2014 in Beijing and continue with 10 races culminating the season finale at Battersea Pak in London. However, the first corresponding Motor Show will not take place until the race in Miami next March. It will then be followed by events in Long Beach, CA, Monte Carlo, Berlin and London, continuing for 4 days each before, during and after each race. Additional host cities will include Putrajaya, Punta del Este, and Buenos Aires. The 10th has yet to be announced.

Races will be 45 minutes long, consisting of 2 stints and 1 pit stop. Which will involve a change of car when the battery runs out, allowing the drivers to switch to a fully charged vehicle. At present the FIA has determined that only 10 teams, consisting of 2 drivers and 4 cars will compete. Prior to each race, there will be free early morning practice sessions, followed by qualifying rounds in which the drivers will complete one lap in each of their cars, then an afternoon break of 2 hours to recharge the cars before the evening races.

During the initial season, all teams will use Spark-Renault SRT 01E. cars built by Spark Racing Technology. The chassis has been designed by Dallara, with an electric motor developed by McLaren (the same as that used in its P1 supercar), a battery system created by Williams F1 and a Hewland five-speed gearbox. Michelin will be the official tire supplier. Each will be capable of speeds in excess of 150 mph.