Alejandro Agag, founder of both the Formula E and Extreme E championships, has just announced the formation of an all-electric powerboat league called the E1 World Electric Powerboat Series. Once again, the whole goal of the series is to draw attention to the environmental concerns that impact marine life.
It’s a similar mission statement to that of both FE and Extreme E. Open-wheel FE races on the streets of large metropolitan cities like Paris and Berlin in order to draw attention to electric technology. Extreme E, by contrast, takes place in remote locations for the same purpose.
The powerboat series seems to have more in common with Extreme E in its mission. From Agag:
The earth’s oceans, lakes and rivers are under huge environmental pressure and the E1 World Electric Powerboat Series will lead the way in electrifying water mobility for future generations.
Right now the use of electric power on the water is still at an embryonic stage. My ambition is for the E1 Series to accelerate the adoption of electric boats, to demonstrate how exciting they can be and to promote electric solutions and clean water mobility to marine travel worldwide.
While the scope of the series isn’t completely defined, I have to admit that what we’ve heard is pretty exciting. The goal is to compete at locations close to cities as well as more remote locations. The machine, called RaceBoat, uses electric propulsion and a hydrofoil to reach speeds up 60 knots, or 69 miles per hour.
The series hopes to attract 12 teams for the inaugural season. Each team will purchase two boats: one will be kept in Europe, and for all other events, the second boat will be stored on a refurbished Royal Mail Ship named St. Helena.
A race weekend will involve a testing and qualifying session that include an unlimited charge, followed by a series of races that include a limited supply of energy. Instead of one big race, there will be a series of knockout races similar to drag racing that will produce a final, overall winner. The championship will be determined via a cumulative score accrued throughout the season.
Honestly, it sounds like an interesting concept. I haven’t watched boat racing before, but it was a pretty common form of competition undertaken by racers eager to set speed records back when the car was still developing. I don't think that callback was intentional, but with the development of electric cars still coming, it makes sense to develop all sorts of electronic technology side-by-side.