Formula E and Extreme E creator Alejandro Agag is bringing electric racing to city streets and remote locales, and his latest concept will take it to the water with the world’s first electric powerboat championship.
The UIM E1 World Electric Powerboat Series will stage events in parallel with the Extreme E off-road electric series and feature pilots from various racing backgrounds competing in futuristic state-of-the-art powerboats featuring hydrofoil technology.
Developed alongside SailGP, a global series featuring the world’s fastest sail boats, Agag has teamed up with former McLaren director of motorsport, Rodi Basso and president of the Union Internationale Motonautique, Dr Raffaele Chiulli, to create another electric racing series.
The powerboats will be powered by electric propulsion systems capable of speeds up to 60 knots (111 km/h or 69mph), and will race in remote locations and against city skylines around the world. The first tests are due to take place next year.
“I am delighted that we are today able to announce this unique step forward in marine-based sport,” Agag said.
“We believe this series will engage not only the sporting public, and boating and tech enthusiasts around the world, but also ocean conservationists who care about the future of our planet.
“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.”
A partnership with SeaBird Technologies, a UK start-up company, will create high-performance, ultralight boats to be transported around the world on board the St Helena ship, the same vessel set to be used by the Extreme E series next year.
Championship rounds will feature practice, qualifying and knock-out races before a final race produces the overall winner. Points will be scored across the weekend of action, with a champion crowned at the end of the season based on cumulative score.
Energy management will play a crucial role in the new series, with only a finite supply of energy available to pilots from the quarter-final stages onwards each race weekend.
“This is an incredibly exciting partnership that allows us to continue accelerating change toward a cleaner future,” said SailGP CEO Sir Russell Coutts.
“We are powered by nature, and SailGP and E1 share a similar sense of purpose to be leading examples of sustainable technology.”
The current aim of the series is to attract 12 teams to purchase two boats each and set up a base of operations in Europe.
Initial on-water tests are set to begin in August of next year in Greenland.