Call it the Formula E of the Sea if you like, the E1 series is the newest in a series of electric racing championships pushed forward by Alejandro Agag. You may know Agag as the founder of the Formula E and Extreme E championships, and E1 is the third leg of this electrified stool, off-shore powerboat racing, but make it electric. These new renderings of the so-called E1 Racebird look almost nothing like the original renderings the series put out late last year, but they look more polished and realistic.
The story goes that Agag was walking down the Thames in London with his friend former NASA, Ferrari, and Red Bull F1 engineer Rodi Basso, when the pair commented that marine transport needed a kick in the ass to catch up to the automotive world in adopting electric powertrains. From there the two co-founded the E1 racing championship.
From the E1 series website, “The E1 Series is the world’s first and only electric powerboat racing series. The series was established to create an exciting, competitive racing platform to promote sustainable electric watercraft and reduce the environmental pressures being placed on the ocean, rivers and lakes.
The UIM E1 World Electric Powerboat Series will see up to 12 teams competing on the water in spectacular global race locations. The pilots will tackle tight and technical circuits, reaching speeds close to 50 knots (93 km/h or 58 mph) behind the wheel of the RaceBird powerboats designed by SeaBird Technologies and Victory Marine.”
While the earlier renders were clearly inspired by Padmé Amidala’s J-type 327 Nubian royal starship, this new one released on Monday is clearly more of a development on the A-Wing platform. Narrower and longer, built for even more of the speed the A-Wing is already known for. Yeah, this isn’t any boat, it’s a newly developed ship for the Rebel Alliance.
This all sounds very interesting, of course. Formula E is a laugh riot of a series and I enjoy every minute watching it. Extreme E is just getting off the ground, and while it’s nearly impossible to watch it live, it’s proven to be pretty great in highlight reels. If the E1 series is half as entertaining, it’s sure to catch on.
There are, of course, downsides. E1, for example, is heavily backed by the Saudi Public Investment Fund.
Will E1 be capable of making people, any people, care about boat racing? I’m not yet convinced it will, but the boats look pretty badass.