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FIA Adds Rome To Formula E 2014 Inaugural Season

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the mad-max dept.

Transportation 91

New submitter muon-catalyzed writes "Formula E — the new eco-friendly forumula racing just secured a major european city. Rome joins a growing eco-racing scene after Rio de Janeiro agreed to be part of it in August. Additional cities are expected in the coming weeks, this should quickly lead to a solidified race itinerary, the FIA says. Having Rome onside won't get cars to the starting line any sooner, but it may underscore Formula E's advantages in noise and pollution over gas-powered leagues — when its cars can race around the Colosseum without creating a ruckus, other cities (and spectators) might just follow suit."

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91 comments

Formula FP (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42167805)

Michael Arschstrescher [goatse.info] wins again

Re:Formula FP (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42167825)

That's a nice, on-topic FP there!

I'm looking forward to your -1 Troll moderation. You've deserved it (no weak-ass -1 Overrated here, I hope!).

I've got an eco friendly vehicle for ya! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42167841)

I've got an eco friendly vehicle for ya!

How about a fucking bike.

Re:I've got an eco friendly vehicle for ya! (4, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year ago | (#42167927)

How about a fucking bike.

So that's a bike without a saddle? I don't quite see how that particular modification makes it eco friendly, perhaps you can explain?

Re:I've got an eco friendly vehicle for ya! (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#42169319)

How about a fucking bike.

So that's a bike without a saddle?

No, it's a bike with a banana seat. Which could be one of those long seats with the bars to hold it up from your rear axle, or it could just be a banana.

Allinol? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42167857)

Ka chow!

Less noise? (3, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year ago | (#42168883)

Geez...half the fun of seeing a race, or driving a race car or a motorcycle is the freakin' noise it makes.

A well tuned sports car engine is a thing of beauty...hell, even the sound of an old 70's muscle car can bring a feeling of lust into your chest.

And I gotta say, the day they turn motorcycles electric...is the day a lot of people may give them up.

The roar and rumble of the engine between your legs is part of that feeling of freedom when you hit the open road.

I don't think an electric engine, with a mp3 player and an external speaker system will generate that same type of emotional enthusiasm....it may perform in a superior manner, but it just want "feel" the same....

Re:Less noise? (1)

radja (58949) | about a year ago | (#42169237)

nah.. 99% of the fun is the crashes. F1 is too safe to be fun any more, and the competition itself is NEVER shown. get rid of the races, put the cars on a roller setup to see who built the fastest car, and show us the construction process. because it's not about the driver. it's about the cars and how they're built.

Re:Less noise? (1)

Jesse_vd (821123) | about a year ago | (#42177173)

Spoken like someone who doesn't know a thing about F1, and clearly didn't see the end of the 2012 season

Re:Less noise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42170007)

"Geez...half the fun of seeing a race, or driving a race car or a motorcycle is the freakin' noise it makes.

A well tuned sports car engine is a thing of beauty...hell, even the sound of an old 70's muscle car can bring a feeling of lust into your chest."

Only for lower class hicks.

Re:Less noise? (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year ago | (#42170619)

I'm guessing you've never had the means to have something of this calibre.

My Porsche 911 Turbo, had a bass note on it, that would easily set off car alarms when I drove by..that had them set too sensitively. That car was a thing of beauty and fun....sure, it got a whole 10mpg on a good day...but was worth every penny of gas I put through it before it died in Katrina....RIP.

Hardly a lower class hick ride....I'd hardly call a '69 camaro a lower class hick car....

It sounds like you might just be a bit jealous, and have never had anything nicer or more special than a Camry or other 'family truckster'....?

That's just cars...every owned a nice motorcycle (and no, a Vespa doesn't count)...?

Re:Less noise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42172039)

I would set off alarms with a VW Beetle.

Re:Less noise? (1)

chrismcb (983081) | about a year ago | (#42174649)

I've never been to an F1 race, but I have heard that the noise is incredible.
while an electric engine is fairly quiet, don't discount the noise of the tires and the sound of the car travelling through the air.
I participant in a sport, where we have no engines, so most of the noise we make is from the wheels. Yet when we race in the 60-80mph range, we sound like jet engines. A little quieter, but there is still some noise... From a vehicle without a motor.

Re:Less noise? (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year ago | (#42177951)

I've never been to an F1 race, but I have heard that the noise is incredible.

Not been to a race, but I did go to a test session years ago when they used the V10s. Nothing prepares you for how loud those engines are :)

Extreme racing (1, Interesting)

JanneM (7445) | about a year ago | (#42167875)

Racing at the very top is supposed to be about the most uncompromising cars possible. As Formula 1 doesn't allow all-electric vehicles it feels like a natural progression to have a separate league for the topmost machines in the world.

Re:Extreme racing (5, Interesting)

b_dover (773956) | about a year ago | (#42167931)

If this were true, F1 cars would be alot faster and more powerful (remember the turbo era of the 1980s?). F1 is about using the most advanced engineering and technology to meet the limitations of the "Formula". the "1" is just that its the formula that allows for the fastest cars, but its still limiting by its nature. The details of that formula is not important, so F1 could go electric. Having said that, the long history of F1, its connection with the evolution of IC engines and people not liking their sports screwed with, I suspect Formula E will separate.

Re:Extreme racing (4, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year ago | (#42168117)

Yeah, they've actually done a lot to limit how fast the cars go in the last decade or so. They got rid of all the little winglets that let the car have extra downforce, without compromising speed. They limit the engines to a certain number of RPM (18000 I beleive). They even limit how many engines you can use for a season and how many sets of tires you can use. You can no longer replace your entire engine between qualifying and race day, which changes the dynamics quite a bit. It's definitely not a "no compromises" sort of thing.

Re:Extreme racing (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#42168345)

The last decade? F1 hasn't been close to "no compromises" since wheels with spokes fell out of favor, and mostly for good safety-related reasons.

Re:Extreme racing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42170285)

By the way: Why is there no Formula OVER 9000 or something, that actually has no limits, except that it should not constantly kill people.

Re:Extreme racing (4, Insightful)

robthebloke (1308483) | about a year ago | (#42167943)

Racing at the very top is supposed to be about the most uncompromising cars possible.

Maybe in the 80's. These days F1 technology is very much driven by road vehicle manufacturers & environmental concerns. For example, the current 2.4L engines (which year on year have been limited to lower and lower revs) are being replaced by 1.6L turbos in 2014, mainly as a result of pressure from manufactures such a merc & renault (and audi / VW, although they eventally decided against joining). If the majority of newly built road cars become diesel powered, F1 engines will switch to diesel. Similarly, if the majority of new road cars are electric, F1 will switch. F1 will do whatever the sponsors ask, and if that includes radically changing the formula, then so be it....

Re:Extreme racing (2)

Ogi_UnixNut (916982) | about a year ago | (#42168159)

Which is probably why, as the years go by, formula 1 seems less and less interesting to me. The main reason I used to watch it is precisely because it was about the peak of car technology. I watched it to see phenomenally powerful exotic cars that I would not see in real life, coupled with men with both the talent and balls to drive these machines to their limits. Sometimes on some very exotic circuits in far away places.

I loved watching F1 and Rally in the 80's, then in the 90's, but afterwards F1 just went downhill (Now I mostly watch rally races, but I do miss the 80's group B). I don't know, but to me F1 looks like its turned into a glorified testing ground for technology to put into road cars. It just isn't that interesting anymore.

As for formula E, I don't know about others, but for me part of the reason I liked watching the F1 was precisely because of the noise. Watching what are essentially glorified milk cars whizzing around quietly just doesn't stir my soul.

Maybe there are people who will like watching this. I will give it a go if it ever begins, but I'm not holding my breath.

Re:Extreme racing (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#42168377)

F1 is still at the peak of car technology even if the use of that technology is restrained. The most expensive supercars or any other race car are pedestrian in comparison.

Re:Extreme racing (1)

Ogi_UnixNut (916982) | about a year ago | (#42168647)

Yeah, but I think it has become over-regulated. Almost all the cars are identical, with minor tweaks here and there. I guess for me, I used to watch F1 for the technological/engineering feats, as much as for seeing Senna work miracles in the corners.

I loved seeing what method they used to gain an advantage. From "ground effect" skirts to seeing how much turbo power they could eck out of a tiny engine, to phenomenally high revving V12 engines, to one F1 car having 6 wheels, and another having a fan at the back so suck it down to the road.

Nowadays all the cars have to use a specific engine configuration, of a specific size, with specific inlet/exhaust restrictions, specific everything. Only some aerodynamic tweaks are offered. Combined with so much computer assisted driving there is very little to distinguish different machines. It is so much more generic and bland now.

Re:Extreme racing (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#42168851)

You know all the computer assisted driving has been gone for at least a year. That was definitely the worst part.

Re:Extreme racing (1)

Ogi_UnixNut (916982) | about a year ago | (#42168885)

Actually no I didn't... I stopped following F1 in the mid/late 00's. Might be worth checking it again then. Thanks!

Re:Extreme racing (1)

Jawnn (445279) | about a year ago | (#42168607)

Watching what are essentially glorified milk cars whizzing around quietly just doesn't stir my soul.

Maybe there are people who will like watching this. I will give it a go if it ever begins, but I'm not holding my breath.

Until this season, I would have agreed with you, but this was the most interesting season in F1 that I can remember. A battle for the championship that went down to the last race of the season, cars that, within the rules of the formula were continually tweaked and refined to eke out every possible advantage, and gobs of good close racing. Yes, there are only a handful of teams that have a realistic shot at the podium, but that handful all made regular appearances. It was not (quite) the Red Bull then everyone else show this year.

Re:Extreme racing (1)

Ogi_UnixNut (916982) | about a year ago | (#42168929)

Yeah, it has been drawn to my attention that the current F1 season is a bit more like it. I stopped watching/following F1 a few years ago, as I had given up on it really, so that is new to me. I might give this season a try and see if it more to my liking, thanks!

Re:Extreme racing (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | about a year ago | (#42172737)

Indeed. I think the greatest moment of this season was Vettel overtaking Jenson Button for 3rd with a few laps to go after starting last in Abu Dhabi. There was that split second when both cars wavered, and I thought they were going to collide. Vettel risked the entire championship to make the podium and eke out a few more points. That is the essence of a race car driver right there. Risking absolutely everything to win. Amazing.

Regardless, I would like to see a little more relaxation in specs that are not safety related. It's unfortunate that so much attention gets paid to managing tire temperature and wear on the identical tires Pirelli provides to every team.

Re:Extreme racing (1)

chrismcb (983081) | about a year ago | (#42174699)

I don't know, but to me F1 looks like its turned into a glorified testing ground for technology to put into road cars.

That is what car racing has pretty much ALWAYS been.

Re:Extreme racing (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year ago | (#42168183)

It's not necessarily only because of regulations, sometimes efficiency is an advantage in itself. Fuel is weight, and refueling is time, therefore fuel efficiency is a must if you want to win. Not to mention KERS which practically makes all F1 cars hybrids.

Re:Extreme racing (1)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | about a year ago | (#42169433)

Weight is still directly related to winning, but refueling was ended in 2010 - regular pit stops are only for tire change now.

Re:Extreme racing (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | about a year ago | (#42170299)

The engine power output is part of the formula, and so efficiency is not something the teams can use to get an upper hand. The engine formula is decided by whether the sponsors want to attach their names (and money!) to the cars. Since most car manufacturers are attempting to sell small economical cars (e.g. renault!), it makes sense to be involved in a high profile sport where the car engines have some parity to their road cars (although an 1.6L F1 engine will still produce 700+HP, it at least sounds closer to their road car offerings).

Re:Extreme racing (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year ago | (#42177991)

Fuel efficiency is still important, no matter what the engine. if you can run a full race on 10kg less fuel, then you'll be faster overall by several seconds. That can make the difference between a win and third in some races.

Re:Extreme racing (1)

TwentyCharsIsNotEnou (1255582) | about a year ago | (#42168193)

These days F1 technology is very much driven by road vehicle manufacturers & environmental concerns.

Don't forget safety. The "most uncompromising cars possible" will tend to fail catastrophically. For example, cars that use underbody aerodynamics to "suck" the car to the ground generate incredible levels of downforce - until they get too close or too far from the ground and the downforce very suddenly disappears. There are very strict regulations on this kind of thing these days.

And of course, cost is becoming a bigger and bigger factor, with regulations designed to level the playing field, at least a little bit.

Re:Extreme racing (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year ago | (#42168563)

If they really wanted to level the playing field, they would all be driving the exact same car, and the cars would be matched to drivers by lottery minutes before the race so as to prevent problems with unfairness and sabotage. The mechanics and car builders would be completely unconnected to the driving teams. Of course, that's not really what they want. What the rules are going for is to allow freedom within one team to perform better without having Ferrari win every single race.

Re:Extreme racing (1, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#42168899)

If they really wanted to level the playing field, they would all be driving the exact same car,

Congratulations, you have failed to understand non-spec racing completely. The competition is between racing teams which include the engineers, mechanics, pit crew, and yes, the drivers. The companies backing the cars are competing. The drivers are simply the public face and the driving part of that competition; you cannot do without them, but you cannot do without anyone else on the team, either.

Re:Extreme racing (1)

TwentyCharsIsNotEnou (1255582) | about a year ago | (#42169567)

I did say level the field "at least a little bit," and it's inferred that it's in a financial sense. :)

Of course they're not trying to equalise everything - it's a team sport, not an individual one. No matter what people think, it is fair that some drivers have better cars than others. And people often forget that one of the developers of the car is the driver himself.

But reduce the financial gap between the back and the front of the grid, and you have a more reasonable barrier to entry, a chance for mid-level teams to make a dent on the bigger ones, and avoid the bigger teams spending each other into bankruptcy.

Re:Extreme racing (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#42168195)

Thing is whatever engine they have it will perform at the limits of what the FIA considers safe, which is the real limiting factor. They could easily go much faster, racing drivers seem to have reached their limit.

Re:Extreme racing (1)

hackertourist (2202674) | about a year ago | (#42170037)

These days F1 technology is very much driven by road vehicle manufacturers & environmental concerns.

Nah, it's driven by the teams' desire to lower costs. "The most uncompromising cars possible" led to budgets in excess of $100M per year per team, which was unsustainable.

Re:Extreme racing (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | about a year ago | (#42170343)

Rubbish. If cost reduction was the aim, then it would be cheaper to keep the current 2.4L engines rather than invest millions developing new 1.6L turbos for the 2014 season. They are developing the 1.6L engines soley to try to temp the car manufacturers back (VW, Audi, and Honda specifically).

around coliseum in rome streets? (3, Interesting)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#42167879)

if they don't go 200mph, it's not really a contender.

wouldn't be so sure about the creating a ruckus part either. however, formula 1 is so rule suppressed that the tech isn't that interesting nowadays, if they have wider variety in E it might be interesting. but going 200mph is going to create a ruckus, electric or not.

and swapping the whole car at the pits? wtf dudes, just regulate the juice pack. easiest thing to regulate, everybody gets the same packs and that's the only fuel, after that it's a free for all. now THAT I would watch.

Re:around coliseum in rome streets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42168005)

Yet, it is still better than NASCAR.
F1 has modern cars, modern engines, right hand turns and they will even run a race if it rains.

If they adopted your suggestion I expect fan cars would be back day 1. Personally I see that as a good thing.

Re:around coliseum in rome streets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42170055)

"Yet, it is still better than NASCAR.
F1 has modern cars, modern engines, right hand turns and they will even run a race if it rains."

It's amusement for rednecks in both cases.

Re:around coliseum in rome streets? (1)

physburn (1095481) | about a year ago | (#42168057)

Electric Vehicles can quite simply to engineered for high speed, the higher the voltage on the motor the faster it goes, simple. The only additional consideration is cooling the motor. Batteries can easierly be made ultra thin and stacked to high voltage, enabling very high speed electric cars.

---

Motor Racing Feed [feeddistiller.com] @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

Re:around coliseum in rome streets? (3, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | about a year ago | (#42168115)

You don't have to be going at 200mph for a race to be interesting. As long as everyone has a similar specced vehicle, it's the way drivers handle braking, acceleration, lines through the corners and overtaking that makes a race interesting.

I really enjoy watching Touring Cars and rallies, but don't find F1 as entertaining. Touring cars tends to have packs of cars jostling for position and not so afraid to get up close and personal with each other. Rallying is of course just spectacular with all the drifting and varying terrain. I think it takes even more skill than being a good F1 driver. DTM is fun to watch too, it's like a mix between Touring Cars and F1.

Re:around coliseum in rome streets? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#42168291)

You don't have to be going at 200mph for a race to be interesting. As long as everyone has a similar specced vehicle, it's the way drivers handle braking, acceleration, lines through the corners and overtaking that makes a race interesting.

I really enjoy watching Touring Cars and rallies, but don't find F1 as entertaining. Touring cars tends to have packs of cars jostling for position and not so afraid to get up close and personal with each other. Rallying is of course just spectacular with all the drifting and varying terrain. I think it takes even more skill than being a good F1 driver. DTM is fun to watch too, it's like a mix between Touring Cars and F1.

you're describing karting.
not formula. not a manufacturers competition.

touring cars have _some_ differences too and le mans cars for example are extremely interesting tech. in dtm and some other touring car racing they add weights if you're beating the others so that tunes the field down. and rally was much more interesting with the stupid b class cars.

however you might enjoy this new formula-e-mcclaren - because all the drive trains come from the same company. how the fuck is this supposed to advance technlogy if there is no drivetrain competition? it's just another single manufacturer series. who the fuck watches any of the ferrari-only series with exactly identical cars? not too many people.

http://www.autoevolution.com/news/all-green-formula-e-buys-42-racecars-52008.html [autoevolution.com]

Re:around coliseum in rome streets? (1)

somersault (912633) | about a year ago | (#42168521)

I'm not saying that cars in F1 or rallies are all the same, I know there are differences among the manufacturers. I'm just saying that the thing that makes races interesting is generally the driving, rather than the vehicles.

I agree that single vehicle races are less fun to watch than multi-manufacturer races. I remember watching TOCA races a few years ago where some vehicles were diesel and some petrol. The diesels had much better torque and so powered out of corners better, but as a consequence they'd also chew through tyres more quickly and by the end of the race they'd be sliding all over the place. Also depending on the track you can have vehicles with nimble handling and not much power competing against cars that rely more on brute horsepower. Variety is good, but there also needs to be balance, otherwise you already have a good idea in advance who is going to win, and that takes some of the excitement away.

Re:around coliseum in rome streets? (1)

TwentyCharsIsNotEnou (1255582) | about a year ago | (#42168343)

Thing about F1 though is the incredible g-forces, under turning and especially under braking. These are dependent on the extreme downforces that can only be generated at high speeds. So I wouldn't say that speed isn't important.

Rallying, 100% agree.

Touring cars I just can't get into, though I am certainly not blind to the appeal. For me, it seems too easy to get away with driving like an idiot, bumping other cars, out-braking yourself and taking the guy in front out - you just don't see the same disciplined racing as you see in open-wheel categories. (of course those guys can be idiots too, but they tend not to get away with it without damaging their own car, and so learn quickly).

Re:around coliseum in rome streets? (1)

somersault (912633) | about a year ago | (#42169823)

You can generate extra downforce at lower speeds with suction fans [wikipedia.org] :)

The Red Bull X2010/http://gran-turismo.wikia.com/wiki/Red_Bull_X2011_Prototype_'11X2011 concept cars in Gran Turismo 5 use this concept, as well as very lightweight bodies and over 1500BHP. They are insane... if they actually created a race series with them, I expect quite a lot of the drivers would die :p

Re:around coliseum in rome streets? (1)

TwentyCharsIsNotEnou (1255582) | about a year ago | (#42172113)

Yeah, that made it into F1 via the Brabham BT46 in the 70's, only to be quickly banned, probably for the very reason you mention above - possibility of death.

Re:around coliseum in rome streets? (1)

somersault (912633) | about a year ago | (#42177489)

It was banned because it gave the a competitive advantage. It technically would make any car you added it to safer. The thing that makes the X2010 dangerous is the insane acceleration and top speed.

Re:around coliseum in rome streets? (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year ago | (#42168657)

Racing is only interesting if they are going at the limits of what matches the terrain. This is why you don't need to be going at 200 mph for a rally race to be exciting. But a 1/4 mile drag race that took 30 seconds would not be interesting, even if the cars were evenly matched. You could design a race track that would make watching stock Smart cars exciting but it wouldn't consist of a 1 km straightaway section. I think that F1 has lost it's edge specifically because it seems that they aren't really on the edge of the speed envelope where technology really allows them to be.

Re:around coliseum in rome streets? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#42168861)

I think that F1 has lost it's edge specifically because it seems that they aren't really on the edge of the speed envelope where technology really allows them to be.

I disagree. That's where the postage gets cancelled. There's no need to be going as fast as a car can possibly go. Keep the tracks interesting and the race will be interesting anyway. What they should be doing is pushing the handling part, which is something that we could all benefit from.

Re:around coliseum in rome streets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42169683)

Rallying is of course just spectacular with all the drifting and varying terrain. I think it takes even more skill than being a good F1 driver.

Yes, which is why rally drivers usually whip the F1 guys in the Race of Champions

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_of_champions

Re:around coliseum in rome streets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42171429)

I think part of the problem is that F1 cars are really, really fragile. No one takes risks because often just touching another car puts both cars out of the race.

Re:around coliseum in rome streets? (1)

Knuckles (8964) | about a year ago | (#42177531)

I think part of the problem is that F1 cars are really, really fragile. No one takes risks because often just touching another car puts both cars out of the race.

The fact that they have open wheels comes into play before the fragility. Because of that, cars easily launch into the air, and we have seen it happen quite regularly. That's always been a part of F1 and open-wheel racing in general, and it's what makes the driving about finding clean lines around the car in front of you, while leaving a centimeter of space, instead of just bumping it out of the way like in touring cars. And it's what F1 fans generally appreciate.

Re:around coliseum in rome streets? (1)

TwentyCharsIsNotEnou (1255582) | about a year ago | (#42168265)

formula 1 is so rule suppressed that the tech isn't that interesting nowadays

On the contrary, I think it's fascinating the smart tricks engineers use to overcome the regulations. Mercedes double-DRS this year comes to mind, and the Red Bull's alternative version of the same concept.

and swapping the whole car at the pits? wtf dudes, just regulate the juice pack. easiest thing to regulate, everybody gets the same packs and that's the only fuel, after that it's a free for all. now THAT I would watch.

Agreed, car swapping sounds a bit crazy. But in terms of regulating the juice pack, that's effectively what we have now - there's no refuelling in the race, so there's serious tactical play going on all the time, trading off the weight of extra fuel with the ability to use the engine at max power for more of the race. And the drivers deciding when they're going to use that power.

Re:around coliseum in rome streets? (2)

Motard (1553251) | about a year ago | (#42168297)

I was excited when I first heard about this series as I thought we'd see competing technologies competing on track. But this is just going to be a bunch of identical electric cars bought from a single source.

Meh.

Re:around coliseum in rome streets? (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | about a year ago | (#42173135)

I think it's a chicken-and-egg problem. You have to have manufacturers interested in competing because an audience of fans (i.e. customers) exists. I imagine right now the electric/hybrid car buyer is not exactly a typical race fan. I know, I know a lot of people would like to have an electric car for a daily commute and then an ICE sports car for the weekend and special occasions, but, I don't think Prius and Leaf buyers are the typical race fan demographic. Yet.

For the electric/hybrid car customer it's probably unfashionable to be a race fan. Perhaps Formula E can develop into a "guilt-free" motor sport for the green crowd. Once manufacturers see a customer/fan base, they'll be more interested.

Goes the other way, too. A lot of race fans are probably of the opinion that electric vehicles are a "step back" from ICE, sacrificing power and fun for eco-friendliness. If they can show good racing that doesn't involve ICE, that opinion might change.

Same old same old (2)

jenningsthecat (1525947) | about a year ago | (#42167881)

A quick visit to the FIA site revealed no information regarding the original source of the energy that powers these cars. Without that, any discussion of the "greenness" of this endeavour is entirely moot.

I'm getting really tired of this meme that electric cars are automatically green. They *can* produce fewer carbon emissions, but when all of the factors, (greenhouse gases emitted during manufacture and maintenance, as well as charging the batteries), are taken into account, electric cars may be no better than their internal-combustion counterparts.

Because they produce no tailpipe emissions, electric cars are probably a step in the right direction. I just wish they were promoted as such, rather than being touted as the 'OMG-that's-wonderful' answer to climate change and sustainability.

Re:Same old same old (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42168207)

A quick visit to the FIA site revealed no information regarding the original source of the energy that powers these cars. Without that, any discussion of the "greenness" of this endeavour is entirely moot.

I'm getting really tired of this meme that electric cars are automatically green. They *can* produce fewer carbon emissions, but when all of the factors, (greenhouse gases emitted during manufacture and maintenance, as well as charging the batteries), are taken into account, electric cars may be no better than their internal-combustion counterparts.

Because they produce no tailpipe emissions, electric cars are probably a step in the right direction. I just wish they were promoted as such, rather than being touted as the 'OMG-that's-wonderful' answer to climate change and sustainability.

It's the same as these new eco-friendly energy-saving compact fluorescent lamps; lamps now cost 10 times as much, they're toxic waste because of the mercury, due to poor components/shielding allowed they can cause distortions in power flow (personally had a brandnew lamp in the bathroom make TV-reception via antenna booster flaky) and now I hear that cracks in the phosphor coating give you UVA/UVC radiation. Oh fuck oh fuck I'm happy those things are mandatory in the EU and soon I can't buy incandescent lamps anywhere.

Re:Same old same old (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#42169211)

personally had a brandnew lamp in the bathroom make TV-reception via antenna booster flaky

Sure, it's partly your lamp's fault, for having no filtering. But it's also your amplifier's fault, for having inadequate filtering, not properly isolating the amplifier stage, etc.

Re:Same old same old (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#42168449)

Unless it was produced with and charged by 100% coal power or close to it, it will be "greener." In most places there is a huge difference.

Of course then they're going to fly the cars and the teams all around the world, completely obliterating that difference, so you've still got something to nitpick on and pooh-pooh electric cars with.

Re:Same old same old (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about a year ago | (#42169435)

Even if it's produced with 100% coal it will nearly always be more efficient that gas. An energy harvesting system that is several orders of magnitude larger, more complex, and capable of running much hotter is much, much more efficient than a 1.6L ICE. A traditional power plant generator can turn 40% of the energy in it's fuel into electricity. A combined cycle plant can reach 60%. The best an ICE can even theoretically do is about 35% due to material limits, an average car in average use is uses about 15% of the energy in it's fuel to actually move the car.

Oh, and even a coal power plant has better emissions controls for pollutants than a car engine does. Believe it or not, a $500 catalytic converter doesn't magically remove everything harmful from car exhaust that a $500,000 scrubbing system can remove from coal exhaust.

Re:Same old same old (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#42170875)

More efficient yes, but without modern emissions controls equipment (which many plants in the US and China don't have) still more polluting. That's how nasty coal is.

Re:Same old same old (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year ago | (#42170143)

Formula has already done a lot in the development of efficient cars. There's a big difference between combustion engines, so even a mostly combustion-based race could promote emission reduction. And electric cars are important because once they become widely affordable our biggest dependance on fossil fuels will cease to exist. Switching to all nuclear will only require the political will.

not racing fans, i guess? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42167915)

for most racing fans, the noise is a large part of the fun.
you don't hear people say, "do you remember the whurr
of the original prius. they just don't make 'em like they
used to." no! you hear "do you remember the 93 era
ferrari 12 cyl. what a scream!"

Re:not racing fans, i guess? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42168089)

And that's why Tesla Motors is doomed.

Most people who buy sports cars also want them to go "Vrooom!" not "Whiiiiirr"

They want to say how many Liters/Cubic Inches the engine has. How many horse power and how many cylinders.

The future of motor vehicles is electric for the minivans and commuter cars. And the sports and muscle cars will stay with gasoline engines. After all, sports cars are about ego and narcissism and those people will have no problem paying whatever for gasoline - like they're gonna bitch about gas prices after spending six figures (or more) on a car.

Re:not racing fans, i guess? (1)

jrmech (2714225) | about a year ago | (#42168235)

Once you've driven a powerful electric car, you'll change your mind. Oh and electric motors still have "horsepower," and things comparable to cylinders like "number of stators/rotors."

Re:not racing fans, i guess? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#42168455)

Yep and pretty soon they'll stomp all over the ICE vehicles...not much ego and narcissism in defeat.

Re:not racing fans, i guess? (2)

Ogi_UnixNut (916982) | about a year ago | (#42168841)

Yep and pretty soon they'll stomp all over the ICE vehicles...not much ego and narcissism in defeat.

I'm not so sure... I mean, most people (myself included) who drive sports cars don't do it for ego, narcissism, or for some sort of penis competition. We drive our cars for the experience, the sounds, feeling and exhilaration when you put your foot down.

My sports car is fast, but not particularly so. A Tesla would beat it easily, as would most other modern sports cars. However when driving it it feels like you're going fast. I did 150mph in a modern German 4 door car, and you know what? I didn't feel like it, it was rather refined and pedestrian. The only thing that gave away the speed was where the needle was pointing on the speedo, and how fast things were moving outside.

In my car, doing 100mph feels a lot faster. Hell, I've had passengers ask me by how much I was breaking the speed limit when I wasn't breaking it at all. It is low down, it is noisy, and you feel the G forces round the corners.

For me the sound is part of the fun, I would probably never want an electric sports car. Many people seem to be lost in the speed competition. If speed by itself was fun everyone would have the time of their lives on an airplane.

If I had to have an Electric car, it would not be a sports car, it would most likely be a replacement for the autobahn cruiser I mentioned above. In that you can't really hear the engine anyway, and you're so isolated that it would not matter whether it was ICE, electric, or had a bunch of hamsters running full pelt under the bonnet.

Perhaps that is a better place for Tesla to try and push the electric car, and from what I heard that is what they intend to try next.

Re:not racing fans, i guess? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42171629)

Once you've driven a powerful electric car, you'll change your mind.

Oh and electric motors still have "horsepower," and things comparable to cylinders like "number of stators/rotors."

Have you ever watched racing in real life, it is completely different than watching on TV. I am a big fan of the American LeMans series, and have seen a number of races live. Audi has a quiet diesel which is novel to say the least. You can barely hear it until it is on top of you, and the whoosh of the air as it slows down from 180 MPH is impressive. You can feel the ground shake as the car goes over the bumps while being pushed down onto the road.

But it just doesn’t compare to the feeling in your chest as a V8 powered C6-R rumbles by at WOT. Or the harsh mechanical scream of a V-6 Lotus as it is interrupted by throttle blips during braking. In real life racing and driving is visceral, you hear it, smell it, and feel it in your body. The more sense that are stimulated, the better.

Re:not racing fans, i guess? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42170091)

"Most people who buy sports cars also want them to go "Vrooom!" not "Whiiiiirr""

Hicks from Buttfuck, Wisconsin, like you perhaps.

Eco-Fiendly? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42168049)

So now the eco-friendly non-sense counts as news for nerds, stuff that matters?

A necessary Next Step (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42168155)

I see racing as the next step toward developing a "green" vehicle. Imagine a NASCAR or a Formula race that extends from now till someone makes 250 miles with a battery car. Right now that is a week of race, 40 miles a shot. Thats 6 days plus. Now how do you get from 40 to 250 miles. Wish? or Engineer it.Now why do you engineer? Reason it out smart ones, some one is around to pay for a win. Someone is able to pay for R&D. And to apply it to a situation.What is it going to be, Not better roads, but better charging systems, better batteries, better motors, Better transmissions, controllers, whatever. How do you build a better base for development do like chevrolet, and ford did. Invest a little into racing, get the vehicle going faster then a horse. You warmists, what was the pollution left from a horse? You found it on your foot. , and as the scottsman said, "your at the wrong end of the ewe."

Formula Flinstone (1)

nozzo (851371) | about a year ago | (#42168803)

yeah they should really cut a hole in the floor of the cars and let the drivers use their feet to propel the cars. Maybe they can install a device to make the xylophone-style sound as they do it?

If its noise that's needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42169627)

A simple AI to read engine telemetry and a sound system to blare it out's all you need

Old robbers don't change (1)

DTR (223807) | about a year ago | (#42169897)

As long as it will be run by FIA, it will have overcomplicated rules, biased race control and barely any sports values.

F1 is interesting because of the F(*&*&^G (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42173193)

Nobody want's to see a bunch of well behaved E-Vehicles orderly circling the track.

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