Question of the Day:
"When EV batteries need replacement what happens to the old ones?"
"Do we ship them off to another country and move the responsibility?"
[post answered by Adam Metalbob, Leading The Charge, 4 July 2019]Read more
Pandemonium in the Pits After Massive Pile Up
The final of the Voestalpine European E-Prix Trophy was held in Bern today — the Swiss city of the bear — where the crowds lined every inch of space 8 or 9 deep right around the length of the 2.750 km hard-core street circuit.
A new track in a new location, where everything is different, comes just when the drivers are probably looking for stability, as they head into the final few races in the 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E series.
And it really was a fun and challenging narrow track with sharp corners, multiple surfaces, manholes, broken tarmac, extreme cambers, an overly long pit, topped by huge changes in elevation. There was no room for error, and energy conservation was key. More about the track, the European series, and the city of Bern.
We are now just three races from the end of the 2018/19 ABB FIA-Formula-E series but today's race, the 2019 Julius Baer Swiss E-Prix, is the final chance for the contenders to win the Voestalpine trophy. Five European E-Prix's contribute to the trophy, which started amongst the ancient ruins of Rome, then Paris, Monaco, Berlin and now coming to a head in Bern.
Best known for Toblerone chocolate, the Swiss City of Bears, Bern, has opened its roads to motorsport for the first time since 1954. It's a city of ups and downs and therefore it's not at all surprising that elevation will be an important component of the 2,750 km E-Prix track. The steep slopes and inclines have never before been seen in Formula E, making this a challenging finale for the 22 cars competing in the European Championship.
As they go to the start line, eight of the 22 drivers are in with a chance to win the trophy, including New Zealand's own Mitch Evans.
"With lots of character, surface and elevation changes, it's a real, hardcore street circuit," says Panasonic Jaguar Racing's Mitch Evans. "The downhill section into Turn 3 and 4 is going to be tough. You come in with a lot of speed, so there's no room for error. Most braking zones look quite difficult — that's going to be the scariest for us with the most consequences — I think it's going to be a complete rollercoaster but I'm looking forward to it."
Yes, it's going to be an exciting race, with no clear winner yet. Let's take a closer look at those who are in with a chance.
Favourite: Jean-Eric VERGE
The current Voestalpine leader is 29-year old Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne, racing for DS Techeetah. Vergne won in Monaco and placed third in Berlin. Therefore he only needs a podium finish to clinch the 2019 European Trophy — that is unless Lotterer, di Grassi or Buemi get to climb onto the podium.
With the 2017/18 Championship Title to defend, and 102 points this season, the pressure will be on JEV. The charismatic driver started his motorsport career in karts at the tender age of 4. His long career has included 58 Formula One grand prix. In 2014 he made the switch to Formula-E, joining first Andretti Motorsport, then switching to Virgin Racing and now DS Techeetah. He has raced 53 E-Prix's with 7 wins and 19 podium finishes, making him one of the most experienced electric car drivers in the world.
The challenger - Andre LOTTERER
Despite not achieving a win yet this season, JEV's teammate Lotterer has placed on the podium often enough to be a serious contender. Any podium place could be enough for this German driver to take the trophy home.
Making a name for himself at a young age, 39-year old Lotterer made the switch from fossil fuel racing to electric last season.
The underdog - Mitch EVANS
Don't underestimate the Underdog. Mitch Evans has been in the points on nearly every race this season, including top of the podium in Rome.
Currently placing sixth in the championship series, Mitch is in with a chance. Just 33 points separate him from Championship leader JEV, so clinching the voestalpine European races trophy (with any podium finish) would provide a much-needed lift to Evan’s Championship hopes.
The 24-year old Kiwi driver has entered 34 E-Prix, with his maiden win in Rome, and 2 podium places. This is his third Formula-E series, during which he has remained with British racing outfit Jaguar. Evans started his motorsport career in karts at the age of six and won the NZ Grand Prix at the age of 16. Moving to GP2 in 2013 and aged just 18, he became the youngest driver in the field's history to stand on the podium after finishing third in Sepang, Malaysia.
The comeback – Robin Frijns
After a spectacular win in Paris despite pouring rain and hail, the Dutch driver Frijns has had a sensational return to form in the all-electric series but will it be enough to be crowned king of the voestalpine European races?
The strategist - Lucas di Grassi
One of the undisputed masters of the all-electric street racing series, Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler’s Lucas di Grassi has once again made up for lost ground in Europe. With a win in Berlin, the Brazilian driver now sits second in the Championship standings behind leader Jean-Eric Vergne. Should di Grassi reach the podium for the second time in the voestalpine European races, the Brazilian has a strong chance of clinching the trophy ahead of his second title challenge in New York City.
The rookie – Oliver Rowland
Rowland doesn't have the depth of experience, but he has managed to outperform his highly-seasoned Nissan e.Dams teammate Sebastien Buemi, who sits behind him tenth in the standings. With two podiums, one after finishing second in Monaco, the rookie will need to slot into the top two places on the podium to be in with a chance of lifting the voestalpine European races trophy ahead of New York.
The master - Sebastien Buemi
Going purely by career wins in Formula E, Nissan e.dams’ Sebastien Buemi is the most successful driver in the history of Formula E with 12 victories to his name. But despite his impressive win rate, the Swiss driver is yet to secure a win in the 2018/19 season. Now, in his local race here in Bern, Buemi will be desperate to top his second-place finish in Berlin and take the voestalpine European races trophy on home turf. To be in with a chance, Buemi will need to make it to the top two steps of the podium at the very least.
The outsider - Stoffel Vandoorne
So far, the 2018/19 Formula E season hasn’t been kind to newcomers HWA Racelab. With 38 points in total, the team sits ninth in the standings, 150 points adrift of leaders DS Techeetah. Despite the team’s overall position, driver Stoffel Vandoorne has enjoyed his first European Formula E campaign, scoring his first and only podium after finishing third in Rome. Nothing short of a win will enable the Belgian driver to lift the voestalpine European trophy here in Bern.
Home race hero Sebastien Buemi is 'confident' of ending his 29-race victory drought while the 'hardcore street circuit' leaves 'no room for error' as the drivers count down the hours until the 2019 Julius Baer Swiss E-Prix kicks off in Bern.
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GREAT EV ROAD TRIP 2019 - THE DIARY
[by Rachelle Tilsley and guest contributors]
- Day One: Rotorua
- Day Two: Taupo
- Day Three: Taupo Event
- Day Four: Raumati Charger Opening
- Day Five: Ferry Crossing
- Day Six: Nelson Event
- Day Seven: Westport Charger Opening
- Day Eight: Wanaka
- Day Nine: Te Anau
- Day Ten: Te Anau Event and Fiordland College visit
- Day Eleven: Mangapiri Downs Organic Stud Farm
- Day Twelve: Manapouri Power Plant and Hawkdun Rise, Alexandra
- Day Thirteen: Mosgiel
- Day Fourteen: Dunedin
- Day Fifteen: Rest Day in Dunedin
- Day Sixteen: School visits & Tekapo
- Day Seventeen: Geraldine, Methven, EV City Movie Night
- Day Eighteen: Chch, Lyttelton, Sumner
- Day Nineteen: Orion
- Day Twenty: Blenheim
- Day Twenty-One: Masterton
- Day Twenty-Two: Palmerston North
- Day Twenty-Three: Napier
- Day Twenty-Four: Gisborne
- Day Twenty-Five: Mt Maunganui
- Day Twenty-Six: Raglan
- Day Twenty-Eight: Auckland
- Day Twenty-Nine: Dargaville & Whangarei
- Day Thirty: Kerikeri
- Day Thirty-One: Cape Reinga
Click the read more link to scroll through each days' diary entry.
Taupo turned on glorious weather for the 2019 Road Trippers.
After the cancellation of the Rotorua Night Market due to inclement weather, the Great EV Road Trip 2019 began at stop 2 – Taupo – on the Colonel Roberts Reserve, right in the heart of the eating quarter of Taupo – and on the waterfront.
BREAKING NEWS: AFTER A PENALTY, THERE HAS BEEN A CHANGE IN PODIUM PLACINGS (SEE END)
Race 5 of the season was the 50th Formula E race and it was therefore fitting that the series was back in China where the very first Formula E race was held. Although that race was in Beijing while this 5th race of Season 5 was on the waterfront streets of downtown Hong Kong. It was also the 50th Formula E race for veteran Brazilian driver, Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler)
The rain held off yet again, but the track was in various degrees of wet and dry from an earlier downpour, making driving tricky especially over the painted areas of the street track which become like ice when wet. The track had 10 turns, six to the right and four to the left with mixed surfaces.
It was a game of cat and mouse between German, Andre Lotterer driving for DS Techeetah and Briton Sam Bird of Envision Virgin Racing, which ultimately ended in contact with Bird's claws causing a tyre blow-out.
London Wins Right to Host Formula E Next Season
It's Official. While Auckland was twiddling its thumbs on the subject, London has streaked ahead and scored the Series that this year is proving to be so much more popular than it has in the past.
Set to take place around the city's iconic Royal Docks and ExCeL London, the drivers will navigate their way around a one-of-a-kind track indoor/outdoor 2.4km clockwise circuit around Royal Victoria Dock.
Consisting of 23 corners, the track layout will see the drivers run along the Thames waterfront for the season finale double-header of the 2019/20 campaign on July 25 & 26 2020 - subject to circuit homologation and approval of the FIA World Motor Sport Council.
British driver Sam Bird wins at Santiago for the Envision Virgin Racing team, making him the only driver to have a win in every season of Formula E. Unaware that he was under investigation for being underweight during his post-race weigh-in, he accepted his trophy and fortunately was eventually cleared.
On the podium it was (1st) Sam Bird (Envisage Virgin Racing), (2nd) Pascal Wehrlein (Mahindra Racing), (3rd) Daniel Abt (Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler). Abt also got the points for fastest lap, and received one of the five fanboosts.
It was anybody's game in Marrakesh during the 2nd Race of the 2019 ABB FIA Formula E Series last night.
Attack Activation Zone in the forefront of this image of the Marrakesh Street Track. Drivers need to turn on attack mode and activate it by taking the corner wide passing over the red and blue lines. Attack mode at Marrakesh lasts 4 minutes and gives an extra 25kW power.
New Zealander, Mitch Evans, got off to a great start, winning a practice race and breaking the track record with a time of 1.17.22. While he didn’t get the extra series point that he would have if he’d won fastest lap during the main race, it was enough for him to comfortably make it into the top six for the qualifying races. In these he just managed to retain a spot in the top six and was therefore eligible to compete in the Julius Baer Super Pole shoot out.
From that point on nothing went right for the Panasonic Jaguar team. In the Super Pole race, Evans overshot the braking-point unable to make the corner at turn six and driving off track into the skate way. By the time he got back on track, he trailed a miserable 17+ seconds behind the pole position. Having already qualified in the top six, Evans still retained his third-row starting post alongside BMW i Andretti Motorsport's Alex Sims who made good time but placed 5th in the Super Pole.
Evan's teammate, Brazilian Nelson Piquet Jn was starting in ninth position followed by Mahindra Racing's Jerome d'Ambrosio.
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOWRead more
Unable to wait on government, Vector has begun publishing its own series of Guides on EV Charging. The first much-needed guide will be aimed at multi-dwelling complexes. This how-to guide is designed to make it easier for tenants and residents of business, commercial and apartment buildings to install EV charging facilities.
Lines company, Vector Limited is New Zealand's leading electricity distributor and is largely owned by Auckland householders, via Entrust.
“EV popularity continues to skyrocket, with the number of EVs on New Zealand roads almost doubling year-on-year,” said Vector’s Head of Engineering, Cristiano Marantes.
“By demystifying the process and making it easier for people to charge their EVs, we expect to see to see more businesses adopt them as part of their company fleet,” he said.Read more