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Tickets for next month's inaugural Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) Formula E Championship electric car racing series (Formula E) are now on sale, with prices at RMB 488 or RMB 688 for the race around Beijing's iconic Bird's Nest National Stadium.

The sBeijing race is set for Saturday, September 13. The new formula car racing series is designed to show that speed isn't solely the province of vehicles that run on gasoline. Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio has given the new concept some credence and a bit of publicity by sponsoring his own team.

Slated for 10 races in nine countries, the series will feature the China Racing team with local driver Ma Qinghua. Although batteries for electric super cars are capable of producing speeds to rival their petrol-powered counterparts, current battery technology does not permit them to be sustained for similar durations. As such, Formula E races are only one hour in length to maximize output before running out of juice becomes a problem. A consolation to race fans pining for more may be that they won't need to wear ear protection as they would for a F1 race: the sound of Formula E cars is rated at only 80 decibels as compared to a maximum ear-splitting 140 for the former.

Beijing is an interesting choice as Formula E's first venue. While the government continues to pay lip service to cleaner technologies, Beijing continues to suffer some of the country's worst ongoing pollution; this is in part to blame on private vehicles that became the number one method of conveyance for city residents in 2013. The capital currently limits the first-time purchase of gas-powered, private cars to 20,000 per month but has no limit and seemingly no demand for electric cars, most likely due to an almost total lack of an available electric charging infrastructure.

A current plan to roll out 2,000 electric taxis in nearby Tongzhou is stalling as drivers are reluctant to take on cars that need six hours per day to charge.

Photo: TagHeuer


Visit the original source and full text: the Beijinger Blog