July 2017 – New York City: Gentlemen, plug in your engines!
The Formula E – which is the first Grand Prix racing series for electric cars – made its historic New York City debut in Red Hook Brooklyn. With a view of the Statue of Liberty and downtown Manhattan, the 1.2 mile, ten turn track at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal provided local motor sports fans with all the thrills of a gas-powered race…but with non of the harmful emissions. In fact, the traditional “roar of the engines” was replaced by a low humming sound as these futuristic E cars reached speeds of 140 miles per hour.
Automakers and their team drivers enjoyed a unique opportunity to test their electric vehicles under tough, demanding conditions. The Formula E Grand Prix afforded New Yorkers an exhilarating preview of the future of motor racing and the electric cars that consumers will be driving in ten, twenty, and maybe even thirty years from now.
Sam Bird of DS Virgin Racing became the first driver to win an international motor race in New York City, sweeping both races in the weekend Formula E doubleheader. DS Virgin team owner Richard Branson was in New York to cheer his team on to victory.
Aside from the competitive aspects of the race, the New York City Formula E Grand Prix demonstrated the enormous potential of sustainable technology which is a key component of Mayor de Blasio’s One NYC Plan. Among the commitments of One NYC are the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 and the best air quality of any large city by 2030.
Formula E worked with the city to make certain that the race benefited the community by hiring local workers and partnering with local small businesses. They also offered students a hands on opportunity to learn about engineering, technology and the automotive trades.
The real winners of the first Formula E race in the city are the future generation who will soon be driving sustainable, emission free electric cars in Brooklyn, The Bronx, Staten Island, Queens and Manhattan.