Formula E boss hopes racing series will 'accelerate' adoption of electric vehicles

New CEO Jamie Reigle believes the electric racing series plays a vital role in making motorsport greener as a whole and helping the wider world change.

Posted: Jan 7, 2020 9:30 AM
Updated: Jan 7, 2020 9:30 AM

Electric racing series Formula E is at the vanguard of promoting a greener sport and its new boss believes it will benefit the planet as a whole.

Chief executive Jamie Reigle, who has replaced Formula E's founder Alejandro Agag, says the circuit espouses an environmental message and insists its carbon footprint is outweighed by the benefits.

"Climate crisis is very real," Reigle told Nicki Shields of CNN's Supercharged TV show. "The goal was to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles because automobiles and transport contribute approximately 25 percent of carbon emissions globally.

"So Alejandro's (Agag) vision was, if we can get a car race seriously to showcase the potential of electric vehicles, we will accelerate the adoption and that will be very good for the planet in the medium term.

"Obviously, that comes with, when you have global ambition, some logistics that are involved when it comes to taking the circus around the world, so to speak. Our view is the carbon emissions that come from that will be dwarfed relative to the change in adoption of electric vehicles over time."

READ: Lewis Hamilton defends environmental social media posts, aims to be 'carbon neutral'

Making strides

While F1's announcement of a new 10-year plan to become carbon neutral by 2030 is a positive step, Reigle thinks the environmental challenges the two forms of racing face differ greatly, meaning they must come up with different solutions to them.

"Motorsport exists partially around technology transfer into road cars. But it's also a form of entertainment. A release for fans," he said.

"Formula 1 has massive fanbase around world and I think they'll be well served by that. Our challenge then is to tell a different story around street racing and around the potential of electric vehicles. I think those two will coexist quite nicely for a long time."

Comparisons are often drawn between the two racing championships due to the similarities in teams and the championship's format.

But Reigle believes any comparison between the two is not helpful.

"I don't think it's super productive for us to reference ourselves against them," he said. "I think we have a core proposition where we're about electric racing, and it's street racing and city centers.

"It's a fundamentally different product. And I don't think those are mutually exclusive. So it's not about whether we're going to catch up to them or surpass them. It's about is our product something that fans want to engage with?

"I think when you see the Porsches, the Mercedes, the Audi's, the big OEMs coming in, it shows the basic value in the technology development, but also in engaging with the younger consumer that will buy those electric cars in the future."

READ: Formula E is not a threat, says Formula 1 boss Chase Carey

Maintaining the status quo

With Agag transitioning to the position of chairman -- as well as starting the all-new Extreme E -- Reigle is taking his first steps into motorsport.

Prior to joining the racing series, the Canadian was a senior executive at the Los Angeles Rams NFL team, after spending a decade as an senior executive at Manchester United.

And while he wants to put his own stamp on the championship, Reigle thinks there isn't the need for "big changes."

"The team and what has been delivered is really remarkable and if you think Formula E started five years ago and where we are today, it's truly a special property that Alejandro and his team have developed," he explained.

"For me, it's about bringing in perhaps some expertise from outside and a little bit of a different perspective. But really, it's as you were and keep going, and building on the success that's been delivered today."

READ: Mercedes are coming ... Should the world's most unpredictable racing series be worried?

'Unpredictability'

The 2019/20 Formula E season kicked off with a thrilling double header in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, with Sam Bird finishing fastest in the first race and Alexander Sims winning the second race.

The start of the new campaign also saw Germany's "Big Four" manufacturers -- Mercedes, Porsche, BMW and Audi -- competing in the same single-seater championship for the first time.

And with Jean-Éric Vergne aiming for an historic third championship title in a row and young drivers progressing through the ranks, there are storylines aplenty in Formula E's sixth season, something that appealed to Reigle.

"[Last season] we had nine winners in the 12 races," he said. "I think of the biggest sports properties -- there's an unpredictability to the outcome and the fans really buy into that.

"On the other hand, we had a two-time winner in Jean-Éric Vergne. One of the narratives I'll be following really closely is, can he go one more and win three times in a row?

Visit CNN.com/sport for more news, features, and videos

"At the other end of the spectrum, we have young guys like Nyck de Vries coming in, it's the first time a Formula 2 champion has come to Formula E. That's a sign of the status of the championship that we have and the attractiveness for the drivers to come in and race.

"With Porsche or Mercedes, what we saw is they brought in a level of professionalism and their approach, they have another series to Formula E and I think that's really raised the game for all the other teams, and that's really what sports all about."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 51079

Reported Deaths: 2756
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion12019693
Lake5588248
Elkhart353959
Allen2939134
St. Joseph210669
Hamilton1691101
Cass16449
Hendricks1454100
Johnson1340118
Porter82638
Tippecanoe7709
Vanderburgh7276
Clark69544
Madison67464
LaPorte61628
Howard59858
Bartholomew59745
Kosciusko5754
Marshall5449
Noble51328
LaGrange4849
Boone48244
Jackson4783
Delaware47152
Hancock46736
Shelby45425
Floyd40644
Morgan34231
Monroe34028
Grant31826
Dubois3046
Henry30018
Montgomery29720
Clinton2903
White27410
Dearborn25823
Decatur25632
Lawrence25225
Vigo2528
Warrick25029
Harrison21722
Greene19432
Miami1932
Jennings17912
Putnam1738
DeKalb1694
Scott1649
Wayne1546
Daviess15017
Perry14710
Orange13723
Steuben1362
Jasper1352
Ripley1307
Franklin1278
Gibson1202
Wabash1162
Carroll1142
Fayette1067
Whitley1066
Starke1043
Newton10010
Huntington942
Jefferson862
Wells821
Randolph794
Fulton731
Knox710
Jay700
Washington681
Pulaski661
Clay645
Rush613
Posey570
Spencer541
Owen521
Benton510
Sullivan501
Adams491
Brown431
Blackford402
Fountain352
Crawford330
Switzerland320
Tipton321
Parke270
Martin260
Ohio230
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union140
Pike110
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 64214

Reported Deaths: 3036
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin11724445
Cuyahoga8979393
Hamilton6781207
Lucas2952305
Marion274539
Montgomery244035
Summit2327209
Pickaway222241
Mahoning1928239
Butler182147
Columbiana137860
Stark1214114
Lorain112069
Trumbull104578
Warren97725
Clark80010
Delaware69815
Fairfield66717
Tuscarawas60410
Lake58923
Medina58232
Belmont56922
Licking56812
Miami50631
Portage49259
Wood48851
Clermont4737
Ashtabula44744
Geauga42543
Wayne37253
Richland3715
Allen35641
Greene3439
Mercer29910
Erie27122
Holmes2595
Darke25626
Huron2402
Madison2169
Ottawa17324
Sandusky16015
Washington14620
Ross1443
Coshocton1423
Athens1391
Crawford1385
Putnam13715
Hardin12312
Morrow1201
Auglaize1094
Jefferson1092
Muskingum1001
Union931
Preble901
Monroe8917
Hancock861
Lawrence830
Guernsey823
Clinton811
Hocking809
Williams762
Shelby744
Logan711
Ashland672
Carroll673
Fulton670
Scioto670
Wyandot635
Brown611
Fayette550
Defiance533
Knox531
Champaign511
Highland501
Van Wert471
Perry441
Seneca412
Henry330
Paulding300
Jackson280
Pike280
Adams261
Vinton232
Gallia201
Noble140
Harrison131
Meigs130
Morgan110
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Broken Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 70°
Angola
Overcast
68° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 68°
Huntington
Broken Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 70°
Decatur
Scattered Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 68°
Van Wert
Scattered Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 68°
Sunday starts wet, ends dry
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events