Mexico Added to Formula E Calendar

Mexico added to Formula E calendar
Mexico added to Formula E calendar

While the decision has yet to be officially confirmed, it is believed that Mexico has been added to the Formula E calendar for 2016. There is apparently a vacant slot on March 19th as the popularity of this new and exciting sport continues to grow. Sources close to the deal suggest it has already been agreed pending an official announcement by Alejandro Agag, director of the series.

This is yet another feather in the cap for Formula E, which is significantly more popular than many had expected when the first season finally began. When you bear in mind the number of false dawns the sport has encountered it has certainly moved on in leaps and bounds of late.

Further developments

As the number of teams and drivers continues to grow, so does speculation regarding a new race for Formula E in Switzerland. Rumours from the paddock suggest there are many negotiations going on behind the scenes and the first season of racing will likely look very different to the second season. There was some disappointment when the Beijing race was postponed by one day, due to other events in the region, but this will not overshadow the expected success of season two.

One thing is becoming more apparent as the weeks and months progress, the expected difficulty in attracting corporate sponsorship and investment for Formula E certainly appears to have been unfounded. This is a relatively new technology which is expanding and developing at lightning quick pace and many believe the sport will learn from the problems which Formula One encountered in its long and colourful past.

What does season two have in store?

While much of the focus has been upon the difference between Formula One and Formula E vehicles, it is easy to forget that these electric cars even today have a top speed of 140 mph. They can move from a standing start to 60 mph in less than three seconds and with nine countries participating in season two there will certainly be an increase in crowd numbers. The relatively successful season one of Formula E has, as we mentioned above, attracted great interest from corporate entities with new teams and drivers emerging on a regular basis.

The argument often comes back to whether Formula E will ever be as popular as Formula One. Formula One has a history and a reputation few other sports can match but Formula E is certainly beginning to attract a crowd of its own. It will be interesting to see how it develops over the months and years ahead and ultimately whether the electric car technology developed by racing teams filters through into the mass market. Ultimately, that will be the recognition that the industry craves and will justify the massive investment by teams and their sponsors.

Conclusion

There are potentially two new races on the horizon for the second season of Formula E with rumours of more to follow. New teams, new sponsors, and new drivers have also added to the expectations for the next series and it is not difficult to see why it is growing in popularity. It is different from Formula One but Formula E is quickly building its own reputation, its own personality and perhaps more importantly its own following.

BMW, QUALCOMM and the New Formula E Safety Car

Is the BMW i8 the best hybrid ever?
Is the BMW i8 the best hybrid ever?

Car giant BMW has teamed up with QUALCOMM to provide a high tech spec BMW i8 which will be used as the Formula E safety car next season. At a time when Formula E is hitting the headlines for all of the right reasons. it seems that many of the giants of the industry want a piece of the action. To the majority of people these vehicles look futuristic and untouchable but both BMW and QUALCOMM have different ideas.

Specifications

The hybrid BMW i8 has already made a name for itself in the electric vehicle hybrid market but this Formula E safety car is something different. It has a pure electric power journey capacity of 23 miles with an overall capacity of 373 miles using the hybrid technology. The top speed for the vehicle is 155 mph and a credible 75 mph using electric only power. It can hit 60 mph in 4.4 seconds perfectly, highlighting the fact this is not just an extremely good-looking vehicle. So, where does QUALCOMM come into the equation?

Wireless technology

The QUALCOMM HALO system is a wireless technology recharging system which is extremely powerful and offers a consistent charge. While last year's Formula E safety car had a basic wireless recharging system the new vehicle for next season has a bespoke design. This year's recharging system can charge at 7.2 kW and fully charge the batteries of a BMW i8 in less than one hour. In simple terms this system is the first to offer 7.2 kW wireless charging!

All the vehicle needs to do is park over the recharging pad with an app letting the driver know how close they are to the charging facility and the amount of power being discharged. Even though many people see Formula One and Formula E as creating futuristic driving technology services which will never reach the mass market, this is not the case!

Formula E is a perfect test base

If you ask any of the Formula E teams they will confirm that this particular arena is perfect for testing new and innovative ideas. While they may initially be extremely expensive and unworkable for the mass-market, things do change very quickly. Once a technology has been perfected it is then the job of the companies themselves to scale up production, increase efficiency savings, and ultimately arrive at a system which can play a role in the mass-market. This is exactly what happens in Formula One with systems such as KERS now being commonplace in the sport using kinetic energy from braking to effectively recover and recycle what would have been lost power.

Conclusion

While we fully expected the likes of BMW to follow Tesla and other innovative automobile companies into the electric car market, it is the introduction of companies such as QUALCOMM which could be the main game changer. Bringing together new technology, greater efficiencies, and massive research and development, budgets can only help the electronic car industry going forward. We await the future with renewed anticipation!