Formula E: all roads lead to Rome when it comes to e-mobility
The sun rises behind the Colosseum, flooding the Basilica of Maxentius, the Forum of Caesar, the House of the Knights of Rhodes and then the Forum and Trajan’s Column with autumn light. Rome awakens and for Romans and tourists alike, there is something unusual amidst the wonders of the ancient city: four single-seat electric cars from the Formula E world championships are glimmering in the light of the new day. The sight of the four silent racing cars surprises passersby in the Viale dei Fori Imperiali, then the cars start up their motors and the electric single-seaters drive up to the Campidoglio, passing before the statue of Marcus Aurelius, almost as if asking for imperial permission to run Italy’s first ever ePrix here in Rome.
The dawning of the age of e-mobility
On 19 October the Rome Convention Center – La Nuvola hosted the presentation of the route for the city circuit for the seventh ePrix of the 2017-2018 season of Formula E, the global championship for single-seat electric cars that is in its fourth edition this year and that once again can count on Enel as the Official Power Partner. A partnership that began in 2016 with the aim of promoting the technological development of the electric infrastructure of a sporting event which, in addition to combining innovation and sustainability, attracts and entertains a growing number of passionate followers.
The date is set for 14 April 2018. The ePrix will race around a 2.8 kilometre course through the marble of the rationalist architecture of the EUR district. The route centres around the obelisk dedicated to Guglielmo Marconi created for the 1960 Rome Olympics and passes by the Palazzo della Civiltà e del Lavoro -- known to Romans as the ‘Square Colosseum’ for its 54 arches in a travertine façade on each side of the four-sided building --, the Palazzo dei Congressi -- yet another example of avant-garde rationalist architecture –. Then, the circuit passes close to the innovative Convention Center – La Nuvola, by Massimiliano Fuksas, which will also be the location for the eVillage .
For Formula E’s first historic race in Italy, naturally it will be our company that will be supplying the expertise and innovative technology to make the event even more sustainable: completely digitalised microgrids using smart metering and energy management systems, integrating renewable energy with batteries for storing energy plus the very latest technology in recharging infrastructure for electric vehicles.
For the debut of Formula E in New York in July, we helped make the race the first zero emission event in the history of the championship, thanks to the total compensation of the ePrix’s CO2 emissions through emissions reduction certificates from its own renewable plants, the use of bifacial solar panels, and an advanced large-scale storage system.
“The week of the ePrix in Rome will be an important one, above all for the cultural impact that it could have,” explained Alberto Piglia, Head of e-Mobility at Enel’s Global Business Line e-Solutions. “All Italian citizens will be able to see the benefits and advantages of electric mobility in the entertaining context of an electric race,” he added, pointing out that the championship for electric single seat cars “represents a hothouse for the evolution of electric mobility.”
“Enel is a committed backer of the event and has invested significantly in the management of the electricity side of the championship. It will certainly continue to be a driving force for development in so far as we can manage to take this technology beyond the sporting world into real life”
Alberto Piglia, Head of e-Mobility at Enel’s Global Business Line e-Solutions
The eternal city chooses e-mobility
From the Campidoglio to the Nuvola in EUR, where the press conference and the presentation of the ePrix course took place, the single seat electric racing cars paraded through the city demonstrating that a new type of innovative and sustainable mobility is possible. Behind the wheel of the cars were the winners of the first three editions of the championship: Nelson Piquet Jr (Panasonic Jaguar Racing), Sebastien Buemi (Renault e.dams), and Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler) as well as Luca Filippi (Nio Formula E), the Italian driver who made his debut in the championship on 2 December in Hong Kong.
“Formula E just had to be in Rome. We have wanted to come here ever since the idea for this championship was first considered back in 2011, and now it is about to become reality. Seeing the electric single-seat cars darting through the streets of the city will be an unmissable experience,” underlined Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E. He added that the ePrix in the city will not only captivate and thrill the citizens of Rome but also bring a series of benefits to the capital.
“We thank all of the people who have worked tirelessly so that Formula E can come to the Eternal City, demonstrating a singular intent to showcase alternative energy solutions in Italy as well and promoting them thanks to the innovative technology that characterises our championship”
Alejandro Agag, CEO Formula E
The arrival in Rome of the world championship for electric single-seat racing cars signals the dawning of a new era, both in terms of the effects of a model for more sustainable mobility and because it brings to Italy the new electric dimension of motorsport.
“What links Rome to Formula E is that Rome, ever since its foundation, has always innovated. And that is what Formula E is about: innovation”
Luca Filippi, driver Formula E
Innovation is what our company continues to promote, developing cutting-edge technology in order to make access to electric mobility solutions increasingly simple and widespread. But also in order to support the potential of the eMobility Revolution in Italy and around the world: a revolution that is profoundly changing the automobile industry and the entire production chain, becoming a formidable driving force for growth and sustainable development.