Six races into the 2017 FIA Formula E series, Sebastien Buemi won for the fifth time. “It’s amazing to get the pole position and a win,” Buemi said. His close competitor, Lucas di Grassi, collided with Antonio Felix da Costa, and di Grassi failed to finish, falling farther behind in the driver’s championship run. Buemi holds a 43 point lead in the series. Jose Maria Lopez took second place in his seat at the DS Virgin team, and Mahindra Racing’s Nick Heidfeld completed the podium for his second race in a row.
As the all-electric cars maneuvered around the Les Invalides, Paris street circuit for a total of 49 laps, each driver tried to reach optimal energy efficiency while matching each others’ pace in the one-design cars.
Six races remain in the FIA Formula E Championship. These will have a slightly different format as a kind of “double header.” Two practice sessions, qualifying, and the race will take place on Saturday and again on Sunday for each of three weekends. Each of the two days per weekend will achieve full race points. Berlin will host the next two races on June 10 and 11.
Innovations Being Introduced as the 2017 FIA Formula E Championship Season Continues
The intense double race weekend format that will complete the FIA Formula E Championship this year is just one of many innovations that the series is experiencing. The Paris event offered fans an opportunity to view the first public showing of the Robocar, which is a driverless one-design electric car that is soon-to-be a support series at Formula E events.
According to Racer magazine, the Robocar uses a number of technologies to “drive” itself, including five lidars, two radars, 18 ultrasonic sensors, two optical speed sensors, six A.I. cameras, and GNSS positioning. It is powered by Nvidia’s Drive PX2 brain, which is capable of up to 24 trillion A.I. operations per second to be programmed by teams’ software engineers using complex algorithms. Fixed hardware will allow companies to develop their own driverless software and test possibilities within safety guidelines.
FIA Donates Zero-Emissions Generator to City of Paris to Promote Sustainability Awareness
As the Paris ePrix came to a finish on the weekend of May 21, 2017, Formula E and event organizers left a permanent — and sustainable — thank you to the city for hosting the event with a zero-emissions glycerine generator. It will be put to use to boost charging infrastructure. The generators are based on standard production diesel engines and have been adapted with Aquafuel’s patented technology to run on glycerine.
They can be used to provide electricity and heating to existing buildings, to move as appropriate to provide power at events, or to power EV charging stations. Automated and able to be synchronized to the French grid to cycle back unused energy, the generator will arrive in Paris in August, 2017. Mayor Anne Hidalgo expressed thanks to the FIA on behalf of Paris, acknowledging the role that the Formula E series has on public awareness of sustainable methods of transportation and alternative energy solutions. Paris is working to transition to clean energy as a means to fight against climate change.
According to the FIA, the Formula E concept has been promoted with three goals in mind:
- to demonstrate the potential and drive the development of sustainable technologies;
- to become a platform to increase global uptake of electric vehicles; and
- to contribute to the fight against climate change and inner-city air pollution.