Go to content Go to navigation Go to search

Electric Racing Cars Coming to Rome

■ 3 December 2012 by James Martin

Don’t hold your breath though:

The FIA Formula E Championship has announced that a street race in Rome will be on the calendar for the inaugural season in 2014. ~ Formula E to race in Rome

They kicked off this little press announcement by having Lucas di Grassi drive a prototype electric powered race car on the roads surrounding Rome’s Colosseum.

Fast, but no “zoom-zoom” if you catch my drift.

When I first arrived in Rome in the 1970s, the Colosseum was a deep gray color. Soot and other crap did it. Nobody knew what the hell the stones really looked like. In the 80s a wipe-on chemical was used to clean everything up. I saw it. Amazing. And then cars got cleaner and the icon never got as badly grayed out again.

So, in some sense, there is justice in running your “clean” car around the Colosseum. And there’s no better place to develop automotive technology than on the race track—or city streets transformed to be a sort of race track.

But…as someone who comes from a country that makes quite a bit of its electricity out of coal, I’m pretty sick and tired of people who try to tell me that these things are zero-emission deals. Yeah, there’s nothing coming out of the tailpipe because well, there isn’t a tailpipe. But we gotta stop thinking we can just push nasty things down the line and then wash our hands of them. You gotta deal with the whole damn line, everything along the line that makes your lungs black and icky needs to be examined.

And another thing. California was bilked out of 9 billion or so dollars when the big boys were left to their own devices with the power grid—and now the rich folks are pushing electric cars.

It will be run by Formula E Holdings, a consortium of investors led by the Spanish billionaire Enrique Banuelos, who made his fortune in real estate and agribusiness. ~ Formula E electric car racing series is launched by FIA

Just some random thoughts. Think about it though. This is gonna be big. It’s not like the old days, when a bunch of guys put together amazing machines in their garages for the sheer joy of racing what you built. This is big business. Without the zoom-zoom. Who benefits from trading carbon credits? Eh?

Do you suppose we’ll be going to war for electricity? Have you seen the electric panels they’ve installed on the rolling hills of Le Marche?

Go to our facebook page and tell me I’m nuts. I’m old. I can take it.

Electric Racing Cars Coming to Rome originally appeared on WanderingItaly.com Dec 03, 2012, © James Martin.

Filed in: |

Cuss or discuss this article on our Wandering Italy Facebook Page.