Templehopft Airport, Berlin
Season Six of ABB FIA Formula E racing was thrown into shambles earlier this year with the global lockdown due to COVID-19.
Racing continued in a virtual eRacing format, but those results will not form part of the championship results table. Even so, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and Audi Sport Abt Schlaefer took the races very seriously as discovered by veteran German driver Daniel Abt, who was first fined by FIA and then suspended by the Audi team for faking it, ie: allowing a ringer gamer to race on his behalf (sim racer Lorenz Hoerzing.)
Abt's FE career is now over despite him previously competing in every Formula E race to date. To some, it seems too big a punishment considering the eRaces were just for fun. Audi continues the season with just one driver on the team: Brazilian, Lucas di Grassi.
Daniel Abt, Suspended for cheating during eSports race. image: Yahoo Sports
Formula E announced today that the season will continue from August with FIA approving six live races over nine days at Templehopf Airport in Berlin.
The University of New South Wales (UNSW), one of Australia's leading research and teaching universities, is undertaking a survey, on Electric Vehicles, lead by Gail Broadbent and Professor Graciela Metternicht. In particular they want to use New Zealand as a case study to find out what has driven our EV sales and build on their previous research.
The survey target is 600 respondents, and Gail Broadbent has asked the Better NZ Trust to help them find participants.
New Zealand currently has a national light passenger fleet of some 20,000 EVs. This compares to Australia who are lagging behind at approx 16,000 electric vehicles.
In 2019, 6971 light electric vehicles were brought into New Zealand and registered for the first time. That may seem close to Australia’s tally (6,718 in 2019), but in a population of less than 5 million compared to Australia’s population of over 25 million.
Last year, Australian Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten revealed his party’s plan to have half of the country's new cars sold in 2030 be electric vehicles. With a national fleet of 14.3 million vehicles, they (on a normal year) would expect in excess of 1.15 million new car registrations. Shorten's plans for 50% of this number is therefore significant in terms of climate change and achievability.Read more
It's EV promotion season and we've just had a huge weekend of volunteer-led EVents. Many many EV owners have gone ahead and purchased an EV after first hearing about them at one of our events. We don't always publicly report on our events afterwards because we have so many every month and they are all largely successful. But our volunteers went to such great lengths under the hot sun this past weekend, that we are posting a montage of what took place below.
So what do we do? And what is the Better NZ Trust all about?
image: Trustee, Sigurd Magnusson, takes members of the public for an EV experience ride
The Better NZ Trust promotes the uptake of Electric Vehicles in NZ, particularly in the light passenger and light commercial fleets. We largely do this by holding events where people can look at, learn about, touch and sit in actual electric vehicles. We hand out information pamphlets, dispel myths and answer questions from the point of view of real EV Owners, all without any sales pressure. Our display vehicles are provided by volunteers, EV-expert car dealers, and commercial fleets who have made the switch to electric. If you own an EV, you can get involved. Simply ask on your local EV Owners group, or send an email to [email protected].
The New Zealand Electric Light Fleet is expected to reach 20,000 before the end of March
We've been promoting EVs using our brand "#LeadingTheCharge" since 2015, and are officially sponsored by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) to pass their informative pamphlets out to the public.
Find our Event Calendar for up and coming EVents at: https://www.leadingthecharge.org.nz/calendar
Our next major EVent is at Frankton Thunder on April 5th 2020.Read more
The Better NZ Trust has appointed a new trustee to join the board, now making it a total of six.
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.