Formula E makes history in Marrakech

Published on Thursday, 10 November 2016

The second race of the Formula E Championship will be held in Marrakech on November 12th, a date that will go down in the history of motor sports. It is a first time for a North African city and a major step for a rapidly growing continent.Those same days will also see Morocco’s imperial city host the UN Conference on Climate Change, which will chart out the road map for a sustainable future for the planet. The 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP22) is scheduled to take place from 7-18 November 2016.

After the first race in Hong Kong on October 9th, the ranking of the FIA Formula E world championship sees the Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi, with his Renault e.dams electric race car, in first place, followed by the Brazilian Lucas Di Grassi of the Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport Team and by the German Nick Heidfeld, Mahindra Racing. Buemi is once again the driver to beat. He won the championship last year finishing ahead of Di Grassi by two points, after three wins each in 10 races and the last nail-biting battle in London.

This season, which will end on July 30, 2017 in Montreal, looks even more uncertain and exciting thanks to five new urban ePrix racing events added for the first time to the calendar: Hong Kong, Brussels, New York, Montreal, and Marrakech.

The track, the "Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan", runs near the picturesque historic center of Marrakech, just south of the Jardins de l'Adgal. Measuring 2.97 km in length, it has a butterfly pattern with three straights of medium length and twelve turns.

From this year, Enel is the Official Power Partner of Formula E. Also at Marrakech it will set up a smart and sustainable "racing" city, transforming the competition into a laboratory of the most innovative e-mobility technologies. Through Formula E, smart grids have the chance to demonstrate their flexibility in meeting new needs of society and to prove once again that they are a key instrument in Enel sustainable development strategy.

Smart grids will help to protect the environment because they allow a more efficient distribution of energy, integrating and storing power generated from renewable sources. More importantly, smart grids make cities more livable, as proven by the 67 technological applications developed as part of GRID4EU, a European research project coordinated by Enel.

Enel and Formula E deployed at the Marrakech ePrix a first of its kind solar powered race simulator in the Visa eSports Arena. The gaming area is supplied with Enel’s green energy produced on site through a solar 5kWp plant, connected to a lithium battery pack that ensures power autonomy to the arena. The battery installation deployed by Enel at Marrakech ePrix, if applied on a regular home, would be able to cover its energy needs for 5 consecutive days. Enel is bringing smart metering, energy management, renewable energy generation, storage and charging technologies to drive technological advancement in the electric street racing series. The creation of Formula E’s first carbon free race simulator is part of that effort.

During the week of the Marrakech Grand Prix, Enel will also be participating in other major events organized as part of the conference on climate change, starting from the round table on November 15th on economic diversification and sustainable development. On that same day, Enel Foundation will be engaged in the discussion at the IETA Pavilion on the transition from non-renewable energy sources to renewable energy. The next day the spotlight will be focused on the crucial issue of infrastructure for the implementation of the Paris climate agreement. Finally, Enel Green Power, together with Wind Europe, the European association representing the wind industry, will be attending a meeting hosted at the EU Pavilion to discuss investments in energy in emerging markets, just like the country hosting the conference on climate change.