Formula E 2017: escape to New York

Formula E 2017: escape to New York

The debut of the Grand Prix for electric race cars in the United States was the first zero impact in the history of motor sports and was the climax of a very important three-day event for Enel.

Jimmy Breslin, the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and commentator of the Daily News, once wrote that New Yorkers don’t look for news about the outside the world: because “they think that if something isn’t in New York, it probably isn’t interesting.”

If this is the case - and there is no reason not to believe it, since no one better than Breslin has been able to understand and explain the city -, then since July 2017 Formula E, whose races number nine and ten were held on 15 and 16 July on the city circuit set up in Brooklyn, is finally interesting also for the inhabitants of the Big Apple. And if it is true for them, it will soon be true for the United States too (because, as everyone knows, whatever comes to New York spreads in a hurry to the rest of the country). And the take-home message of the electric race car championship is: Electric mobility has grown up and become fast, powerful and high-performing. Just as the majority of Americans want their cars, with the only difference that to date they have purchased cars that run on fuel.

And this is the key to Formula E, the zero-impact travelling championship of which Enel is the Official Power Partner: while the silent cars raced at a speed of two hundred km/h on the temporary circuit along the shore of the Hudson River, with the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan’s skyscrapers in the background, they proved to New Yorkers that the electric car today has reached the same level of performance as Formula 1. Intriguing food for thought, so to speak, which can come in handy when purchasing your next car.

But it was not only Formula E to bring CEO and General Manager Enel Francesco Starace, its President Patrizia Grieco and a delegation of managers to New York: indeed, the Grand Prix was the climax of an intense week of appointments and meetings organised by the energy multinational. The first was on Thursday, when at four o’clock in the afternoon, the company’s top management, together with Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E, climbed on the balcony of Wall Street’s trading floor to ring  the Closing Bell, which, by tradition, announces the end of trading: a ceremony with which the city gave its special welcome to Enel and to the debut of Formula E in the United States.

The day after, the Italian utility was hosted at the UN headquarters, where a workshop on sustainability was held under the aegis of the United Nations and the Italian and Chilean governments to share stories, experiences and ideas to make the utopia of a cleaner and more liveable planet become a reality.

Later that same day, the celebration of another important event: the acquisition by Enel of 100% of Demand Energy, a U.S. company that specialises in the development of software and integrated systems for smart energy storage, a crucial factor for the development and spreading of energies on an increasingly broader scale.

Finally, the morning of the first Formula E Grand Prix saw the fourth meeting for the open talk #EnelFocusOn, during which the Head of the Innovation and Sustainability Division at Enel, Ernesto Ciorra, and Gabe Klein, one of the greatest urban innovation experts in the United States, co-founder of CityFi and author of "Start-Up City"discussed the issue of smart cities with a group of influencers and experts from all over the world.

But perhaps the most crucial piece of news from this intense week regarded precisely Formula E: the New York race, as stated by Ryan O'Keeffe, Communications Director at Enel, was “the first Grand Prix completely zero impact in the three-year history of Formula E, and therefore in the history of motor sports.” All thanks to Enel, which compensated the total CO2 footprint of the event with the clean energy generated by one of its wind farms in Mexico and plans to do the same for the whole of the next Formula E season.

As Frank Sinatra used to sing about New York: if you make it there, you can make it everywhere.