Formula E Takes the Pole Position


One of the major issues in hosting Formula One races in America’s thoroughfares, is the noise of these high performance vehicles make when making their way through the course. One maverick racer though would make this a thing of the past if given the chance. If Alejandro Agag has his way, he would race electric cars on America’s streets.

Agag is the current CEO of Formula E Holdings and is now in the process of creating a global racing circuit that utilizes battery powered racing vehicles designed after their more successful gasoline powered Formula One cousins. The electric vehicles would definitely be cleaner and quieter as well as be the venue for many innovations and vanguard technologies for autos in general. Agag has already obtained investments as much as US$100 million from Spanish real estate mogul Enrique Bañuelos and is continuing to market further investments from ten cities located all over the globe. Many of these target cities are in the United States and the first race is scheduled to run by 2014.

Agag has also been in talks with FIA, the governing authority of Formula One, to lend its blessing to Formula E. There is already a prototype vehicle named EF01 and was built by French firm Formulec, a subsidiary of Formula E Holdings. What remains is the permission from the world’s metropolises to allow the races to be held in their city thoroughfares, investors to put up racing teams and sponsors to inject millions of dollars to allow their names to a sport that would eventually help develop the electric car industry. According to Mr. Agag, “This will combine the racing world with the environmental world. This is a sport that will have a direct effect on the quality of cities. You don’t want to have the opposite reaction where you are a hated event.” The remarks were made during his visit to New York to meet with city officials and noting that the race would not have air or noise pollution many events would have produced.

The racing calendar is being filled up, with Rio de Janeiro committing August of 2014 as one of the races in the Formula E races. Monte Carlo has shown keen interest but the most coveted venue wanted by the organizers is to hold one in the streets of the United States, ideally to be done in New York, Los Angeles and Miami.

Sports is not something new for Agag, as he was the former owner of English Premier League football club Queens Park Rangers. Like many sport start-ups, the problem is quite perplexing, as persuading host cities, as well as sponsors and networks, to invest when there are very few options in the realm of electric car racing. Aside from venues for races and sponsors, he also has the burden of developing new technologies into the already established sport of motor racing. The logistics themselves for these races is nightmarish, requiring closure of streets, installation of concrete barriers, space for pit crews, fans and spectators, as well as all the other issues and concerns that comes with holding such a major event in a downtown area.

The future of these races is still up in the air.