Enel takes to the track with Formula E

Published on Wednesday, 18 May 2016

A touring championship that combines sports, innovation, environmental protection and territorial development. FIA Formula E, the first electric car racing series, is not only a competition for zero emissions vehicles, but a laboratory offering solutions for a future that is fast-approaching: solutions that will be transferred to industrial production, as Formula 1 does today.

With this objective in mind, Enel – which has placed innovation and sustainability at the heart of its corporate strategy – has signed an agreement with Formula E to become a Global Power Partner of the event. Enel is designing a fully-digitised energy mini-grid for Formula E, using the innovative solutions that we have developed, from advanced smart metering and Fast Recharge technology, to solar panels and Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology that is capable of turning automobiles into veritable “batteries on wheels.”

During the championship, which begins with e-Prix in Berlin, which will take place on May 21st, we will install smart meters and energy management systems to collect energy consumption data for each team at each stage of the event. The use of a transportable mini-grid will ensure that the races do not place any extra strain on the host cities’ electric grids. We will illuminate the areas surrounding the circuits with our LED technology and will install charging columns for fans that reach the circuits with electric vehicles.

'We are heading towards a major technological convergence that aims to create an electric eco-system, where network and electricity management will be crucial. Formula E is a platform that allows us to demonstrate the evolution of these technologies within a competition,’ explained Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E. Our synergy with Enel, he pointed out, ‘goes beyond a mere sponsorship. We will work together in order to bring zero-emission energy not only to the race cars. The entire Formula E event will be powered by Enel.’

Our group is highly committed to the widespread implementation of electric mobility and to the development of power generated from renewable sources and smart grids. This partnership will enable us to gather and analyse Formula E energy infrastructure data, in order to develop innovative solutions and explore new energy management models.

‘We are delighted to be partnering with the Formula E team, an initiative that allows us to share our expertise in accelerating the digitisation of their energy management infrastructure and powering them through our renewable energy generation technologies,’ commented our CEO Francesco Starace. ‘Enel and Formula E are natural partners, as we both embrace the exciting opportunities in electric mobility, smart cities and the clean energy revolution. We are now joining forces to continue with our pioneering work in the field of technological innovation for the vehicles of the future.’

The partnership, which will continue until 2018 with the possibility of being extended, will allow Formula E to become a fully carbon neutral race. Most of the CO2 that is currently generated during the race comes from the transportation of equipment during the season, despite the organisation's commitment to reduce its impact. Starting from the e-Prix in Berlin, we will work with Formula E to gradually reduce greenhouse emissions through the use of our renewable technologies.

By the 2017-2018 season, Formula E will be ready to deploy a combination of solar panels and glycerine-fed generators connected to a highly innovative storage system that will distribute the necessary energy to supply the entire event. We are also already evaluating the possibility of installing solar panels in the other areas of e-Prix.