Cornelia Yzer, Senator for Economics, Technology & Research, welcomed the FIA Formula E Championship to Berlin as one of 10 global cities – and only the third in Europe – to host the new fully-electric racing series, beginning in 2014.
Formula E is a new FIA championship that brings electric vehicle racing to the people, as city centres around the world play host to an electric energy Championship, designed to promote interest and investment in electric vehicles and sustainable motoring. Ten teams with two drivers each will participate in the races, which last approximately one hour using Formula cars capable of reaching speeds of more than 220kph with zero emissions.
Attended by selected guests and media, the launch event was held beside the city’s iconic Brandenburg Gate and hosted by the Senator, together with Alejandro Agag, CEO of Championship promoter Formula E Holdings, Martin Pallgen, Tempelhof Projekt GmbH and Gernot Lobenberg, Director of the Berlin Agency for Electromobility.
During the press conference Alejandro Agag also revealed the location of the first ever Berlin race with 20 fully-electric cars set to race on a custom-made circuit built within the ‘Apron’ section of the former Tempelhof Airport. He added: “We are delighted to be in Berlin and very grateful to the Senator and to the Berlin authorities for welcoming our Championship to their city. With more than 1,200 electric vehicles and over 220 public charging points already in circulation, Berlin is leading the way in Europe for innovation and sustainable mobility, which is why we selected it as a host city for Formula E. We’re now very much looking forward to putting on a great show for the people of Berlin at Tempelhof and one the city can be proud of.”
Senator Cornelia Yzer commented: “Berlin, as an international city and leading metropolis of electric mobility, is an ideal venue for Formula E. We are pleased to be able to host the event in this cosmopolitan city and for Berlin to present new and innovative technologies. Formula E will also inspire people to consider Electromobility.”
The German capital now joins a list of 10 cities around the world that will feature Formula E races during the inaugural season, which was confirmed at the recent FIA World Motor Sport Council will run as a ‘winter calendar’ from September 2014 to June 2015. The final calendar – featuring London, Rome, Los Angeles, Miami, Beijing, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Putrajaya, Bangkok, and Berlin – will be presented to the FIA for their approval at the September 2013 World Motor Sport Council.
Gernot Lobenberg from eMO commented: “Formula E in Berlin will show a wide audience that electric mobility is fun and free of emissions. Formula E also suits the city as to date we have introduced more than 150 projects in the field of electric mobility in Berlin and Brandenburg.”
Gerhard W. Steindorf, CEO of Tempelhof, added: “We are very pleased that Formula E will be held at Tempelhof Airport. Since 2009, the historical building has been the scene of numerous, very different events. The airport building is always a spectacular setting for the presentation of innovative ideas and technologies. Formula E is something completely new and pioneering and fits it perfectly into our idea of how this unique place is used.”
Guests and onlookers were also treated to a spectacular display of the fully-electric Formula E prototype race car with test driver Lucas di Grassi – a former Formula 1 driver – performing to the crowds near the Brandenburg Gate before embarking on a drive through the city’s major landmarks, escorted by the Berlin Police Department using electric patrol cars.
About the FIA Formula E Championship:
Formula E is a brand new FIA championship featuring Formula cars powered exclusively by electric energy. It represents a vision for the future of the motor industry over the coming decades, serving as a framework for research and development around the electric vehicle, accelerating general interest in these cars and promoting sustainability. Commencing in 2014, the Championship will compete in the heart of 10 of the world’s leading cities – including London, Beijing and Los Angeles – racing around their iconic landmarks. For the inaugural season, 10 teams, each with two drivers, will go head-to-head creating a unique and exciting racing series designed to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fan. Operating as an ‘open championship’, the series gives car manufacturers and constructors the opportunity to showcase their electrical energy innovations in a racing environment, designing cars to the technical specifications set out by the FIA.
The former Tempelhof Airport, now the Tempelhofer Freiheit, is one of the largest inner-city development areas in the world and a central Berlin location of the future. The site of the internationally famous airport, which is steeped in history, has become Berlin’s most popular open space since the airport closed down in 2008. The listed airport building itself, dating back to the 1930s, is in great demand both nationally and internationally as an event venue and represents the perfect stage for presenting innovative products and new technologies. With its representative main hall, the seven former aircraft hangars and the concreted apron, the airport building offers a spectacular backdrop for national and international events.
About the Berlin Agency for Electromobility:
The Berlin Agency for Electromobility eMO is the central point of contact for electromobility in the German capital region. eMO pools expertise from business, science, politics and public administration. eMO links and coordinates the players, acquires new partners for regional, national and international projects and promotes activities. Together with its partners, eMO has conceptualized a strategy for electromobility which has cultivated Berlin into becoming Europe’s leading metropolis for electromobility in Europe.