The FIA introduced its first fully electric single-seater series in 2014 with 20 identical Spark SRT_01E-Renaults. Each race, or ePrix, was run on city-centre street circuits from Beijing to London’s Battersea Park – the proximity of the barriers and buildings making the cars appear quicker than they actually were. With a top speed of 140mph, the collision between Nicolas Prost and Nick Heidfeld while disputing the lead of the inaugural race proved that they are fast enough to be dangerous.
Practice, qualifying and the 45 minute race was compressed into a single day and limited battery life made a mandatory mid-race swap to a second chassis a necessity. The one-make regulations were eased for Formula E’s second season to allow different power trains to be used and the second generation cars introduced at the end of 2018 are quicker and have the battery life required to complete a race without swapping cars.