TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Electric cars have a bad reputation for being strange, expensive, slow and short-ranged. However, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIM) tried to break the mindset about electric cars by organizing a Formula car race, the Formula E, in a competition that will be held starting next September.
The electric cars that are built to compete in the new championship have already been exhibited in the Consumer electronics Show (CES) 2014 in Las Vegas on Jan 6-10. The first Formula E car was named Spark-Renault SRT-01E, the result from a collaboration of legendary motorsport companies such as Mclaren, Williams and Dallara.
The cars are anything but slow. They can achieve a top speed of 225 Km/h and accelerate from 0-100 Km/h in just 3 seconds.
However, this is different to Formula 1 cars which sound very loud. The Spark-Renault is nothing like a race car. Former F1 racer, Lucas di Grassi, who tested the car in a small parking area in Las Vegas, had proven it. When he depressed the throttle pedal, the electric car let out a whining sound similar to that of a remote controlled car.
Other than the sound it makes, the Spark-Renault really is a race car. Di Grassi explained that he experienced something very different. "The torque is very precise and instant, so you really need to be careful when applying the throttle," he said.
The only problem racers will face is the life of the battery weighing 200 kilograms which only lasts for 20 minutes. Racers have to quickly pit in and change cars if the power has depleted.
Currently, the Spark-Renault is the only Formula E car available. However, 10 teams have confirmed to enter the 2014-2015 season, and each will get the same car. For the first season, every car has the same design and specifications, but later on, each team will be able to freely install new technologies to their cars.
They hope that the automotive companies can produce electric cars with new innovations and technologies, including a more efficient and longer lasting battery.
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