Malaysia to “develop the car of the future”

Video: Malaysia Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak speaks at an event to mark the signing of the contract between Formula E promoter FEH and the city of Putrajaya, which will host the second fixture on the sport’s inaugural calendar.

“We have depended on the combustion engine for such a long time, for over 100 years,” he says. “We have used fossil fuel to drive the world’s economy. We have prospered. We have increased global wealth. But all this has come at a cost. The cost is that carbon emission is affecting climate change. And climate change has wrought devastation on all parts of the world. We cannot continue on the same trajectory. We need a game changer. We need to reduce carbon emissions. And the electric car is the solution. This race is about introducing change. We can show the world that Malaysia will be at the forefront of developing the car of the future.”

CG rendered Formula E racing car

Video: 3D computer modelled Formula E racing car in 360 degree animation.

Spanish CG artist JL Nolain prepared this animation for Formula E, showing what the new Spark-Renault racing car would look like while it was being built. While useful for promotional videos and sponsor relations, we wonder if this might form a basis for the interactive, real-time racing game that promoter FEH hopes will better embed fans in the action.

Food, palm fronds and kissing: delivered to your seat

Video: Qualcomm is boosting mobile technology in baseball stadiums under a plan that will eventually encompass an augmented reality super-sports experience.

Last month, we wrote about how technology company Qualcomm is planning to introduce augmented reality technology to motorsports, beginning with Formula E. Here’s an example of where the tech might go, as applied to baseball and some very lucky fans. (No word on if the short shorts will make it Formula E).

Connecting the dots from Formula E to production EVs

Video: The FIA’s Jean Todt, Formula E promoter Alejandro Agag and representatives from McLaren and Williams discuss the relevance of the new racing series to electric road cars.

“It will showcase EV technology and take it to a new public, because we’re operating in city centres,” explains Kirsty Andrews, head of commercial operations at Williams Advanced Engineering.

Spot Current E’s Ross Ringham in his Current E jacket at 1min 14s (over Peter van Manen’s left shoulder, talking to Qualcomm’s Cynthia Ray and Jason Avila) and at 2min 01s (over Jean Todt’s right shoulder, skirting the scrum to get close-up shots of the Formula E racing car).

Alejandro Agag confirms free tickets

Video: Formula E promoter Alejandro Agag talks to Bloomberg’s Money Moves segment about the developing series, including free entry and targeting younger audiences.

“We want to race in cities because we want to show that the electric car is the solution for the city,” says the charismatic Spaniard. “We want more electric cars in the streets. If we achieve that, we’ll fight pollution and have cleaner air in the cities.”

On the subject of entry prices and target audiences, he says: “We will be selling tickets, but there will also be free access for those not seated in the grandstands. The cars will be fast and competitive – to see them in narrow streets will be exciting. We’ll have top drivers from around the world – Japan, Brazil, US – to race.”

Agag points out that the lower noise levels of electric racing will enable families and children to be much closer to the action. This, he hopes, will help attract a younger audience to the sport, along with digital technology that will provide an interactive experience.

McLaren driver eyes Formula E

Video: McLaren GT racing driver Alexander Sims talks to BritsOnPole website’s Over the White Line video magazine about his enthusiasm for electric cars – and ambition to bag a seat in Formula E.

“I’ve got quite a passion for electric cars and outside of racing I’m very aware of the impact we’re having on the environment,” says the young and engaging racing driver Alexander Sims. Sims has raced in Formula 3 and Le Mans, was a frequent podium finisher in GP3 and has tested in a McLaren F1 car.

“I think I’m one of the only racing drivers excited by Formula E and I would absolutely love to be involved. In year one it might be a bit strange and everyone will be very confused by it as it has lots of interesting ideas, but in the long term it has the potential to help people perceive electric cars as desirable.”

The segment about electric racing starts at 4min 44s.

The shakedown on Formula E

Video: Leo Parente presents a Shakedown segment from the Drive network, summing up what we know about Formula E.

“Swap race cars in the pits? Someone call ZipCar or Hertz because this sounds like the perfect sponsorship connection,” jokes Parente. He goes on: “In my opinion, it’s not a travesty to the tradition or essence of racing. Formula E is racing. And racing is, or should be, always built to push forward innovation, reliability, speed, performance and technology. And efficiency has always been part of racing.”

He comments that he thinks the race pace will be nearest the F2000 series, before asking if his viewers a series of questions designed to spark debate. The video has generated almost 600 comments so far, which will help push the new series into the limelight.

The Formula E segment begins in earnest at 2min 46s.