Formula E may aim for cutting-edge verve and global charge, but a big part of its heart beats in America.
The only U.S. race on the 2022-23 ABB FIA Formula E international circuit, this weekend’s contest tests 12 teams and drivers against each other and technology, aiming to both win and accelerate the next level of electric vehicle performance from battery to motor. The Southwire Portland E Prix, featuring world renown auto racing names such as Porsche, Maserati and Andretti, will be Saturday at the 12-turn Portland International Raceway for the first time in the series’ nine-year history.
Swiss-based technology firm ABB, which among many ventures is rapidly growing its charging infrastructure offerings, is once again sponsor of the hyper-speed EV racing events. The FIA, known in the U.S. as the International Automobile Association, also has given Formula E its ruling stamp of approval.
The previous six Formula Es in the U.S. were contested at the Red Hook Neighborhood circuit track in Brooklyn. The energy and enthusiasm volume of the attendees at the Red Hook races last year showed that, while EV racing may still be working at relatively small popularity level compared to Formula 1 or Indy Racing, the interest and commitment is growing by leaps and bounds.
Other venues this season include Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Berlin, Monaco, Jakarta, Rome and London, among other cities.
“Returning to the US, and to a new location, is perfect for ABB, as the country is our largest market by revenue,” Karin Lepasoon, ABB’s Chief Communications and Sustainability Officer, said in a statement. “Being able to bring this platform for the showcasing and development of ground-breaking technology to such an important market, where we’ve invested more than $14 billion since 2010, is a great opportunity to help drive sustainable progress.”
The Formula E is growing in global recognition, with many races televised and shown weekly. Among the circuit’s top drivers are Season 9 points leader Pascal Wehrlein, with the TagHeuer-Porsche team, and defending champion Stoffel Vandoorne with DS Automobiles-Penske.
The cars are featuring the 300-kW GEN3 car chassis designed by Spark Racing Technology. All of the cars use those designs and also new tire technology developed by Hankook.
The Formula E participants also utilize race charging systems by ABB. Each team, however, develops its own powertrain.
EnergyTech will be covering the ABB Formula E Portland E Prix race live this weekend, just as we did last summer on Brooklyn. Look for another story on the race early next week.