EU wants an electric car Formula 1 championship

The European Union Commission is in talks with Formula 1's governing body to create an electric car championship series.

The European Union Commission is in talks with Formula 1's governing body to create an electric car championship.

According to reports, the European Commission has contacted the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), which runs F1, about launching three additional events: electric car, go-karts and single-seater.

The hope is that the F1 championship will help build awareness and increase the visibility of electric and hybrid vehicles. If successful, the race will show people that electric cars can go up to incredible speeds (similar to their internal-combustion engine counterparts), while being environmentally friendly.

Currently FIA president Jean Todt and the European Union's industry commissioner Antonio Tajani are in discussions about how to take this forward. An electric-car commission unit has also been set up within the FIA, headed by Burkhard Goeschel, a former BMW director.

“We want as soon as possible to have new categories with new energy,” Mr Todt told the Financial Times, adding that the first season for electric car racing could take place as soon as 2013.

Tajani said that he was hoping this would give the conversion of the European car industry a "concrete start".

Nissan and General Motors have both launched electric cars in the U.S. and Europe, and a slew of other plug-in vehicles are expected in the next few months from Renault, Daimler, BMW, Toyota, etc.

Of course there are drawbacks to the plan: beyond just speed, car racing for most people is also about the sound and smell (which regular electric vehicles lack for obvious reasons), so we're not sure how many people will jump on board. But given F1's popularity around the world, this move could definitely have some far reaching consequences of building public awareness of clean energy and alt-fuel cars.

Via Financial Times

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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