Formula E's First Night Race Will Be In Saudi Arabia

Illustration for article titled Formula E's First Night Race Will Be In Saudi Arabia
Photo: Hector Vivas (Getty Images)

While night races are a favorite among fans of pretty much every motorsport discipline, Formula E has wrapped up six seasons without having run after dark. The reason is pretty simple: The series is dedicated to being eco-friendly, and few things are quite as wasteful as turning on a ton of lights just for fast cars to drive in circles. But when it comes to Saudi Arabia, FE has decided it’s time to do something a little different.


The third and fourth rounds of this upcoming season will take place in Diriyah, and both races will be run in low-light conditions using renewable energy to illuminate the circuit. From the press release:

Lighting the track with the latest low consumption LED technology will reduce energy consumption by up to fifty per cent compared to non-LED technologies. The remaining energy needed to power the floodlighting will be fully renewable provided by high performing low-carbon certified hydrogenated vegetable oil made from sustainable materials.

Honestly, I’m here for it (the night race part… not so much the Saudi Arabia part). I’ve been dying for a sustainable night race for a while now, and FE has delivered just after the series was named the world’s first racing series to boast net zero carbon emissions.

“As with everything we do, our first thought was about how to bring our sporting vision to life in a sustainable way,” said co-founder and Chief Championship Officer of FE Alberto Longo. “Before we innovate our racing product we must be confident we can maintain the standards of sustainable practice we hold ourselves accountable to.”


The sport continues to push new boundaries, which is awesome. It poses a challenge to other racing series to clean up their act, since it’s entirely possible to reduce your carbon footprint as a discipline—you just have to get a little creative. 

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.


“Honestly, I’m here for it (the night race part… not so much the Saudi Arabia part).”

Considering that Saudi Arabia is a country with a recent history of not allowing women to drive, your lack of enthusiasm for this country is neither surprising nor unjustified.