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The future of EVs in Motor Sport

It stands to reason that EVs are the evolution of motor transport – but can the crackle of electricity replace the heady smell of high-octane petrol in the F1 paddock? We already know that EVs are quick – extremely quick, even on mass production cars such as the BMW iX and Kia EV6 GT completing the 0-100km/h dash in petrol-engine beating times of 3.5 seconds or under.

Do EVs have a role to play in the motor sport of the future? What are the developments we’ve seen on tracks around the world so far? Is there room for both?

The F1 killer: Formula E

Alejandro Agag, the chairman and creator of Formula E, brought electric vehicle racing to the masses when he introduced the racing series in 2014. Major automakers including Audi, Porsche, and Mercedes-Benz have shown interest in Formula E, demonstrating the industry's acceptance of electric power in racing. As mentioned before, EVs can attain quick acceleration due to fewer moving parts and greater power-to-thrust efficiency. The Formula E cars can snap to 100km/h from zero in under three seconds with a max speed of 220km/h – a far cry from the 370km/h of F1, but improvements are on the way.

Motorcycle racing goes electric

2013 saw the merger of two premier world championships for electric motorbike racing, creating the eRoad Racing World Cup. With electric motorbikes becoming popular in China and Latin America, there’s much interest in the emerging sport.

Autonomous and virtual racing

A tech race as much as a road race, the Roborace is a demonstration of self-driving cars as a motorsport, with advances in AI as important as much as speed itself.

Virtual racing has also come a long way from the Sony Playstation introduced the Gran Turismo Real Driving Simulator over twenty-five years ago. Real world physics, performance modelling, and near photo-realistic graphics helped along by real-time ray tracing (calculating where light rays hit in a realistic fashion, creating realistic reflections) and immersive racing kits providing force feedback comparable to the real thing, virtual racing offers up every bit of thrill the real thing can muster.

Performance EVs – within consumer grasp

EV performance is well within the means of everyday consumers, especially as some EV SUVs can outpace luxury sports cars doing the 0-100km/h sprint! Financing high-powered EVs is becoming easier, with many banks and lenders offering discounts on interest rates thanks to government incentives and zero-emissions loans. To ensure you get a good deal for your dollar, you should consider selling or trading in your old ICE vehicle as well as save up a decent deposit. This can reduce the amount of money spent on interest. 15-20% deposit is enough to make a sizeable dent in how much you’ll need to borrow. As the EV market is maturing, there are also avenues to buy used or certified used instead of brand new, which can also save you a pretty penny.

If it’s still outside your budget, you can always get a racing wheel and a PS5!