The second season of the FIA Formula E series concluded in dramatic fashion on July 3rd in London with Renault e.dams driver, Sebastien Buemi, taking the championship.
During the season, Formula E solidified itself as a relevant global motorsport series that is a blend of great competition, ever increasing partner participation in electric vehicle innovation, and a viable marketing platform around which both global and in-market consumer and technology companies can successfully activate.
The London event saw three instances of the above.
High end Electric Vehicle start up, Faraday Future, announced a partnership in London with the Dragon Racing FE team to assist accomplishing both its brand building and technological innovation.
On the consumer brand building side, this indicates that Faraday sees the merit of utilizing an FE team and the FE marketing platform to promote its brand to a high end target market purchaser of EVs to take on the likes of Tesla.
On the technical side, it shows FE as a platform with which to hone technical innovation that will filter into passenger vehicles. Faraday will start out next season with efforts to improve team and vehicle software systems. Season four and five will proceed with enhancing drive train development and chassis design with the intent on using its present passenger car technology in the FE car, and vice versa.
As Faraday is also developing technology for autonomously driven vehicles, there may be synergies here with the whole future FE race weekend format with plans for the autonomously driven vehicle Roborace series to be a support series for Formula E.
Lightsource, a leading European provider of PV solar energy systems, provided on site renewable energy systems and supply for the race cars and BMW course car, Formula E garages, eVillage (display area where partners showcase their sustainable practices), big screen TV, mobile phone charging stations, and most of the ticket booths.
This was a great example of a company utilizing FE as a platform to showcase its sustainable energy technology and provide actual product/system demonstration with the goal for the event of producing almost zero overall emissions.
Visa Europe, taking its already close relationship with Formula E further, used the London race to target and transition into customers a younger, digitally savvy segment of the FE fan base through designing and activating around a customized “Visa Fan Garage” that came with fantastic at track seats, access to exclusive content, and a variety of SWAG. In addition, it partnered with six up and coming musical artists giving them global exposure through the event. Finally, it partnered with the FE e-gaming platform in the eVillage that attracted a new segment of motorsports fans.
On To Next Season
Next season, Formula E moves into an expanded 14 race schedule with newly announced stops in New York City, long coveted by Formula One, and Montreal set to give FE exposure and entry into both the Canadian market and the financial and commercial epicentre of the U.S.
Both locations are very ripe markets for consumer brands of all types wishing to align with the FE sustainability ethos and target market either globally or specifically to the North American market.
Additionally, the technology transfer and innovation opportunities will continue forward as new players such as Faraday Future and other automotive and high tech related companies get involved in the series.
It will be interesting to follow the continued off-season series and partnership developments, and to the continued success of FE in season three and beyond.