Electric Car Grand Prix announced
June 8, 2009 TTXGP, the world’s first clean emission eGrandPrix has announced plans for a return to the Isle of Man in August 2010. In a development on the TTXGP 2009 event to be run later this week, plans for 2010 include an extended motorcycle race with two laps including pit-stops and hot-swappable batteries and plans to include a class for electric cars. It is an enormous irony that the first electric car race is looming at exactly the same time as the myopic Formula One circus hurtles towards self destruction with talk of strikes, alternative series and erratic governance.
On the eve of the first practice session for the first electric motorcycle Grand Prix, the concept of electric racing is obviously catching on. The future of transport is inevitably clean electric power and racing gives the fledgling industry the performance showcase it needs – just as it did a century ago when the internal combustion engine used the public platform of racing to promise the world the freedom of viable transportation.
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The eGrandPrix is about competitive innovation and exists to push the boundaries of the possibilities created by clean technologies. Azhar Hussain, founder of the TTXGP said, “With TTXGP 2010, we want to push boundaries of zero-carbon racing further by hosting the world’s first clean emission eGrandPrix for cars, as well as bikes. The 2009 TTXGP is creating excitement around the world and interest in what the future of motorsport and personal transport looks like. It seems only right that in 2010 we look to inspire and include even greater numbers by creating the first ever platform for developing and competing electric race cars.”
Tesla, a leader within the growing electric car market, has voiced its support for the eGrandPrix. In 2008 Tesla demonstrated the reality of high performance electric vehicles by launching the Tesla Roadster, the only commercially available highway capable electric car, capable of achieving 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds with a range of 244 miles per charge.
Aaron Platshon, European Sales and Marketing Manager at Tesla Motors, said: “We welcome the TTXGP’s initiative to launch an electric car race and believe that competitive, high performance motorsport will be an important force driving electric vehicles and electric drivetrain technology forward while also capturing the imagination of the public.”
Potential teams, keen to take part in the race, are coming forward rapidly and include SABA Motors Inc. Simon Saba, CEO at SABA Motors, said: “We are pleased to compete in the TTXGP zero-carbon auto race on the Isle of Man. I founded SABA Motors to create energy efficient high performance vehicles. Our goal is to blow away the misconception that cars can offer either high efficiency or excellent looks and great performance. Indeed, you can have great performance and zero emissions in the same vehicle and this race will demonstrate that fact."
TTXGP 2009 motorcycle team, Evo Design Solutions, has already committed to return to the Isle of Man in 2010. Team leader, Rick Simpson, said: “For us TTXGP 2009 is just the beginning of zero-carbon racing. In 2010 we want to return to the Isle of Man and demonstrate the progress that can be made with another year of research and development.”
LiFeBATT, the supplier of high-performance battery packs to a number of teams entering TTXGP 2009, has also pledged to develop and put forward its own electric car, the R2, for the TTXGP 2010 auto race. The company has already gained some experience in electric vehicle racing having recently developed and raced a successful electric drag bike, which won the clean emission race category at the Santa Pod AE (Alternative Energy) drag racing event in April 2009.
Ian Goodman, Director at LiFeBATT, said, “The TTXGP bridges the gap between cars and bikes. The most important aspect of the TTXGP is the application of the very best in battery and electric motor technologies – not whether the vehicle has two or four wheels. By 2010 we will have a new, higher performance generation of battery pack available and will be able to apply the valuable experience gained during TTXGP 2009 to the development of our R2 electric race car ready for the TTXGP 2010 auto race.”
The Isle of Man provides the ideal location for the world’s first zero-carbon auto race. The island has been home to the world famous TT motorcycle races for more than 100 years and the mountainous island roads provide testing conditions for both drivers and machines. The Isle of Man Government, businesses and residents pride themselves on the island’s culture of innovation, which has already been proven by their willingness to host TTXGP 2009.
Tony Brown, Chief Minister on the Isle of Man, said: “2009 is set to witness an exciting new chapter in the history of the TT as the Isle of Man plays host to the inaugural running of the TTXGP. I am pleased that our internationally renowned festival is taking the lead in bringing the next generation of motorsport to a global audience. As an island and centre for innovation that prides itself on its independent outlook, where people and ideas have the freedom to flourish, we very much hope to welcome the TTXGP back in 2010.”
The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is the official technical advisor to TTXGP. Mary Donovan, IET Head of Communications, said, “The technology and innovation we are going to see at the TTXGP is a catalyst for converting all those who care about the world to wake up and realise that technology is the vehicle by which we can achieve the changes we so desperately need.
“The TTXGP’s rapid journey from two to four wheels shows the fast moving pace of advancements in technology and the appetite for change. Through such initiatives, we hope to rekindle excitement in the classroom and ignite the spark that will re-engage students in science, engineering and technology. We are proud and privileged to have been involved at the beginning of this momentous journey and look forward to continuing along the road ahead into 2010, whether it’s on two or four wheels.”
TTXGP is the organisation behind the clean-emission motorcycle race due to be held on June 12, 2009 as a part of the Isle of Man TT festival. For TTXGP 2009, 17 teams from six different countries will be competing to produce a starting grid line up of 20 electric motorcycles. TTXGP has already attracted global interest in its inaugural year. Teams interested in entering the TTXGP 2010 should contact TTXGP organisers via the TTXGP website