Monday, 4 April 2011

EU wants electric F1 races!

The interfering busybodies at the EU are trying to convince Formula 1 to hold races with electric cars!

The fastest electric car in the world is the Shelby Ultimate Aero EV which has a top speed of 208mph and a range of between 150 and 200 miles on a full charge according to Shelby.  The average grand prix track is between 125 and 180 miles.  Bearing in mind that a grand prix race involves driving cars aggressively and as fast as possible, the range is going to be decreased considerably and in all likelihood below the length of the actual race.

Of course, the batteries could be replaced as they would refuel a normal F1 car and the charging time of the Shelby is apparently only 10 minutes according to the company but a 10 minute pit stop isn't particularly exciting.  And then there's the top speed - F1 cars are effectively restricted to about 210mph by various technical rules such as rev limiters and restrictions on launch and traction control to slow the cars down.  The Shelby can match an F1 car but that's at the limit of the technology - there is little scope for improvement - and the Shelby will do the maximum speed regardless of how much "fuel" it has because electricity doesn't weigh anything whereas one of the big challenges in managing an F1 team is finding the right balance between the amount of fuel you carry, the time it takes to refuel and the speed benefit you get from carrying less fuel.  None of which you will get with electric cars.