An old saying reminds us “There is nothing new under the sun”.
Electric vehicles (EV) are certainly not new, yet, they are considered as ‘alternative transportation’. They pre-date our ‘normal’ automobiles by about half a century. The only thing ‘new’ about eCars is the urgency we now find ourselves in, to replace the cars of the ICE age with vehicles of the E-word.
The ‘E for effort’ we can fault the auto industry with, is the time it took to realize what the ICE – the “infernal consumption engine”- is doing to the ecology. That is more a societal issue than an industry issue, though.
We can now give an ‘A for effort’ to everyone involved with the reinCARnation of the EV. Tesla, Volt, Ampera, LEAF are well known – well, almost. Mostly by us ‘car guys’, or ‘wheel nut’ as I call myself.
Less know are the earlier attempts of small companies such as ZENN and Th!nk, which are on again, off again; So is Detroit Electric, version 2.0, which is slated to (re)start production soon.
Whether a new EV is from General Motors or from an unknown start-up, the public needs to be made aware of their existence first, and the unproven MOTOR-cars need to prove ‘what they are made of’. The best way for that is in competitive events; after all, racing improves the breed.
To that extend, if you are interested in EVs AND in motorsports, you will be in line for a treat in 2014. The FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile) has sanctioned a series of demonstration races for open wheel cars, similar to Formula 1 or Indy cars, as the ‘Formula E Championship’. Even the oil companies and ordinary people are getting on board.
This article may be shorter on words than usual, but the information at the links will provide much additional information; a special smorgasbord of past, present and future racing will entertain you for another ten minutes. If you have not yet done so, you can check out this writer’s series of eBooks.