Malcolm Flynn | Dec 31, 2012

A new all-electric open-wheeled race series will kick off in 2014, raising awareness of EV options by racing in some of the world’s most congested cities.

The FIA-sanctioned Formula E Championship will include races in Rio de Janeiro and Rome, while rounds in Berlin, Mumbai, and Shanghai are being negotiated.

Organisers are expecting 10 teams to compete in the inaugural series, with each team comprised of two drivers.

Each race will be known as an ‘Electric Prix’, with a one hour race divided by a pit stop after 25 minutes, for drivers to swap to a freshly charged second car.

Teams will initially use a common chassis developed by Spark Racing Technology (SRT), with electric drivetrains supplied by McLaren Electronic Systems - a subsidiary of the legendary Formula 1 team.

These electric drivetrains are expected to offer 0-96km/h performance of 3.0 seconds, with top speed limited to 240km/h to balance range capacity.

Teams will be permitted to construct their own Formula E-regulation chassis in the long term, but the initial SRT design is based on the Formulec EF01 prototype racer from 2011.

Demonstration races of the final Formula E design are scheduled for late 2013, and testing of the cars is already well advanced.