Electric motorsport (also known as electric racing or electric motor racing) is a category of motor sport that consists of the racing of electric powered vehicles for competition, either in all-electric series, or in open-series against vehicles with different power trains. Very early in the history of automobiles, electric cars held several performance records over internal combustion engine cars, such as land speed records, but fell behind in performance during the first decade of the 20th century. With the renaissance of electric vehicles during the early 21st century, notable electric-only racing series have been developed, for both cars and motorcycles, including for example, the FIA Formula E Championship. In other racing events, electric vehicles are competing alongside combustion engine vehicles, for example in the Isle of Man TT and the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, and in some cases winning outright.
Formula E is a class of auto racing, sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), and is the highest class of competition for one-make, single-seater, electrically powered racing cars. The series was conceived in 2012, and the inaugural championship started in Beijing in September 2014.
For the first season, all teams were supplied an electric racing car built by Spark Racing Technology, called the Spark-Renault SRT 01E. The chassis was designed by Dallara, with an electric motor developed by McLaren (the same as that used in its P1 supercar), a battery system created by Williams Advanced Engineering and a Hewland five-speed gearbox. Since the second season regulations allow for new powertrain manufacturers. The manufacturers are able to build the electric motor, inverter, gearbox and cooling system. The chassis and battery stay the same.
A Formula E car has a power of at least 186 kW (250 hp). The car is able to accelerate from 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) in 3 seconds, with a maximum speed of 225 km/h (140 mph). The noise levels are approximately 80 dB (SPL), which is more than an average petrol car which produces about 70 dB. The generators used to re-charge the batteries are powered by glycerine, a by-product of bio-diesel production.
A series with all-electric GT cars (in the first season all Tesla Model S), called Electric GT (EGT) is planned to start in 2017.
The Andros Trophy, a French ice racing series, began experimenting with electric cars in 2007. An electric car class was added in 2010. The car, developed by Exagon, features a 67 kW engine and a total weight of 800 kg.
World Solar Challenge
The World Solar Challenge is a biennial solar-powered car race which covers 3,021 km (1,877 mi) through the Australian Outback, from Darwin, Northern Territory to Adelaide, South Australia.
The race attracts teams from around the world, most of which are fielded by universities or corporations although some are fielded by high schools. The race has a 28-year history spanning twelve races, with the inaugural event taking place in 1987.
American-based Global Rallycross Championship announced that an electric class will be added for the 2018 season.