Formula E is a street racing series that uses only electric-powered cars. A truly global championship, races take place across five different continents. The 2015/16 season saw 270,319 spectators attend ePrix over 12 races.
And races in major cities such as Buenos Aires, Paris and Mexico City can draw more than 20,000 spectators.
Those spectators are important to Formula E beyond the box office receipts that they generate.
Formula E has proved popular with a television audience of 190 million across over 100 countries
Formula E is a business with an important mission—to promote alternative technologies in the effort to demonstrate the potential for sustainable mobility.
The message has traction. In addition to those watching in person, Formula E has proved popular with a television audience of 190 million across over 100 countries. And over 4.7 billion mentions in social media are driving the message even further.
On the technology side, the venture is already driving some innovation. When the race launched in Beijing in 2014 all teams used the same car and power train. Today seven manufacturers are producing motors, invertors and gearbox solutions.
In the background, the aviation industry is lending its support.
Fans, staff and equipment rely on air links to keep to a gruelling schedule of 12 races in nine locations. And they are literally carrying the message of sustainable transport with them.
Formula E has to rely on aviation to transport the specially-designed lithium batteries used to power the cars
Pier Luigi Ferrari, Deputy Motorsports MD of DHL—a founding partner and official logistics partner of Formula E—explains the measures taken to transport equipment while keeping emissions as low as possible.
“We always look to use the most efficient, ecologically friendly aircraft types such as Boeing 747s or 777s, which burn less fuel per kilogram carried,” says Ferrari.
“We also pack the cargo as tightly as we can, to ensure that those planes are carrying the maximum weight.”
Formula E also has to rely on aviation to transport the specially-designed lithium batteries used to power the cars.
As the batteries are highly flammable, the batteries have to be packed and handled for airfreight in a particular way, and can only be transported on cargo aircraft.
Although there is no formal partnership between aviation and the ePrix both industries share an important message—on ground or by air, sustainable mobility is a prize worth racing for!