When I was growing up, racing bikes and cars I believed was baked into the DNA of some of us boys. The thrill of speed was addictive. The rush of the wind as you ride fast is such a spiritual experience. I still own my bicycle and my motorbike - both very personal pieces of property. Every time I watch a race, my heart pumps wildly with the adrenaline, and that teenager in me peeks about wildly with excitement.
At the same time, every time I watch a race, my sensibilities are also affected when I realise the amount of gas that is burnt just for thrill and pleasure of the riders/drivers and the spectators. Seems obscene at a time when we are aware of the perils of burning fossil fuels, because of the effect it has on global warming and climate change, resulting in extreme climate events. Greenhouse gases that are emitted when we burn fossil fuels are the primary reason for climate change, and attempts are being made globally to reduce burning them. But then what happens to racing as a sport? Will it ever evolve? How can we have a race without cars and bikes that don't burn gas? Possible?
Yes! Vroom… vroom… enter the world of Formula E! Where we get the best of both worlds - the thrill of racing and the satisfaction of not burning fossil fuels…a dream come true for enthusiastic but conscious souls of this world. Formula E is a race of electric cars. It is the world's first street racing series with all the bells and whistles. Importantly this is the first attempt to disrupt the exiting format of motor racing, as it is a beautiful amalgamation of sport, entertainment, technology, innovation, and sustainability.
Transportation touches our lives every day. We need to get to work, our kids need to get to school, we need to go on our holidays, but through all of this, we are mostly dependent on burning fossil fuels to transport ourselves. The advent of Formula E tells us that it is possible to use low carbon electric mobility solutions. If a race car can become clean, where the demands for power and performance are at its peak, surely an electric car should do well for us?
Electric car racing was the vision of Alejandro Agag, Founder & CEO of Formula E, who wants to make the switch to electric cars make sense for consumers - more efficient and more affordable. Today, as you read this article, the Paris Grand PRIX, sorry the Paris E PRIX will start at 7PM India time. Don't miss it!
The organisers of Formula E have gone beyond everything and are doing some amazing work in raising awareness for electric vehicles. They have done a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) on the sustainable impacts of Formula E. The LCA not only calculates their carbon footprint, but also asses the championship's impact on climate change, water footprint, ecosystems quality, natural resources and human health.
In the inaugural season, Formula E's footprint was estimated at 25,000t CO2-eq. To put this in perspective, this number equals, 110 flights from London to Chicago with 320 passengers aboard, the electric consumption of 11,000 UK households per annum, 3,400 trips around the Earth by Car. The second season footprint has been calculated at 12,000t CO2-eq, equivalent to 60 transatlantic flights from Paris to New York with 320 passengers aboard, the electricity consumption of 7,900 UK households, 1,600 trips around the earth by car. This is a significant decrease in their footprint from season 1. The organisers aspire to reduce their footprint, even more as they go on this journey, setting a stellar example of sensitivity to sustainability.
Formula E is a demonstration of the immense possibilities of living sustainably. For the teenager and for the climate change & sustainability advocate in me, this is marvellous!