Formula E racing, the world's first motorsports championship that uses only electric vehicles, began its sixth season on November 22. You may still be unfamiliar with the series – the ABB FIA Formula E Championship only began in 2014. But it has quickly gained speed of its own, attracting more automakers to the fold and more fans to the stands.
Nissan was the first Japanese manufacturer to race in Formula E. The Nissan e.dams team finished second last season, which was its first.
For Nissan, Formula E is an opportunity to demonstrate the power and performance of its zero-emission EV technology. For sports fans in major cities around the world, it's a chance to see cutting-edge, world-class racing without having to travel out of town. Regardless of where you are, here are five reasons why you should tune in to Formula E:
The future is electric
- The technology behind Formula E is a peek into the future of all cars. Sales of electric cars are set to grow fast in the coming decade as the technology becomes more affordable and accessible.
- All-electric races have a unique audible atmosphere. Formula E cars actually emit their own specific sound with a varying pitch depending on the amount of acceleration.
- Knowledge gained on the Formula E track – particularly about energy management – will go into developing better electric cars for consumers in the future. Nissan has used its many years of experience mass-producing the Nissan LEAF electric vehicle to develop its Formula E car, but the learning process also goes the other way.
A racing series for a new generation
- Formula E is designed with younger fans in mind, from the gamification of the event itself to how you watch. The Fanboost feature allows fans to influence the races directly by voting for their favorite drivers online. The five drivers receiving the most votes get an additional 5-kilowatt power boost to use during the second half of the race. For example, you can vote for Nissan e.dams drivers by just tweeting "#SebastienBuemi #FANBOOST" and "#OliverRowland #FANBOOST."
- The races are short compared with other series, lasting only 45 minutes plus one lap. This keeps attention focused on the action and also makes every mistake or misstep that much more critical.
- While races are broadcast on TV networks globally, everyone can watch full races and practice sessions on YouTube. Watch season five's 12th race (e-Prix) in New York to see what Formula E looks like, here:
Formula E is action-packed
- Formula E drivers can use the "Attack Mode" feature to get a 25-kilowatt power boost by going off the racing line and driving through a specific zone. The number of boosts available, and their duration, changes from race to race. This makes each race less predictable and more exciting.
- When a driver activates Attack Mode, lights on the car's halo (the piece of safety gear above the driver's head) illuminate. Viewers at home can also track who's in Attack Mode on-screen.
- The tight track layouts means drivers constantly have to watch out for each other.
Formula E is up close
- Free from the deafening noise and exhaust emissions usually associated with motorsports, Formula E races take place in the middle of the city. This makes them easier to attend for urban audiences and adds spectacular backdrops. In addition to Diriyah, season six will bring the excitement of Formula E to Santiago, Chile; Mexico City; Marrakesh, Morocco; Sanya, China; Rome; Paris; Seoul; Jakarta; Berlin; New York; and London.
- Unlike other racing series, Formula E pit lanes and paddocks aren't "VIP only." This gives Formula E fans the opportunity to see the technology, and the people behind it, up close.
Formula E adapts as technology advances
- With zero-emission EV technology developing fast, Formula E adapts quickly to stay ahead of the curve.
- One change already made is a significant power boost, from 200 kW to 250 kW (about the equivalent of an 80-horsepower increase), bringing top speeds up to 174 mph (280 kph).
- Thanks to improved battery technology, Formula E has done away with the midrace car swap that was a feature of its early seasons. Yet battery life – like fuel on any other race circuit – remains an important part of every team's strategy.
Nissan e.dams is entering the new Formula E season with a team of record-setting drivers and a new Japanese kimono-inspired race car. Go here to learn more about the Nissan e.dams team and drivers, and tune in to the action on Nov. 22.