NEW YORK—Racing cars came to Red Hook this past weekend as Formula E held its season four finale, the NYC ePrix. Although the event is only in its second year, the Big Apple is fast feeling like home for these all-electric race cars, and once again we saw championship-deciding races play out against the Manhattan skyline.
But this event also marked a different sort of finale—the end of Formula E’s first chapter as the series prepares to retire the cars its been using for these last four seasons. When season five gets underway in Saudi Arabia this December, Formula E will have a new vehicle in the spotlight: one with more power, wild looks, and enough battery to make mid-race vehicle swaps a thing of the past.
Formula E’s current reality
Unlike other racing series, Formula E exclusively races on temporary street tracks in city centers, because city centers are where electric vehicles make the most sense. (Yes, the Mexico round is the exception that proves the rule, but that permanent circuit is in a pretty urban part of Mexico City.) Not all of those city centers have proved welcoming; races in Miami and Montreal were one-offs, and the London ePrix lasted but two years. But the series signed a 10-year deal with New York City, and by building the course around the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, the impact on local residents from road closures and the like are minimal. (The course itself is slightly modified from last year, including longer straights that increase the track length to 1.5 miles, or 2.4km.)
Source: Ars Technica