Mercedes-Benz Joins Formula E, But Tesla Still Keeping Away

Mercedes-Benz Joins Formula E, But Tesla Still Keeping Away
schuger / Pixabay

Tesla, a leader in the development and commercialization of EVs, has surprisingly decided not to venture into the Formula E all-electric championship. Though Tesla is not participating in the championship, other premium automakers, such as BMW, Mercedes and Audi, are participating, notes Electrek.

Suspense about Tesla’s participation

Formula E is an all-electric car racing championship, and therefore, it was taken as obvious for Tesla to participate. BMW and Audi were already part of Formula E racing, and now Mercedes is the latest automaker to announce its entry into Formula E racing with its own team, although not until 2018 or 2019. This will be the third season of the all-electric car racing championship.

The reason Tesla is not participating in the event is not known, but the next season could include Tesla. Formula One champion Nico Rosberg triggered speculations about Tesla getting into motorsports recently when he tweeted about a meeting with the EV maker.

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“Head [sic] some great meetings at Tesla today,” Rosberg tweeted last week.

Additionally, a few months ago, Formula E runner-up Lucas di Grassi tested a Tesla Model S P85, completing more than 20 laps in the car. Grassi believes it has the potential to be one of the most powerful GT cars in the world. It would be interesting to see how Tesla would fair in a race under the Formula E rules, but until now, there has not been any official announcement regarding the automaker’s participation.

Formula E is rising in popularity

Formula E racing is often referred to as “the little brother of Formula 1,” but with some variations. For instance, when it comes to Formula E, a pit stop differs from what pit stops are like in Formula 1. For example, unlike the Formula 1 cars, there is no need to change the tires and add fuel in an all-electric race. Rather, the driver of the electric car quickly jumps into a second car with a fully-charged battery in just 45 seconds during the pit stop, notes PopularMechanics.

Some might argue that Formula E isn’t as good as Formula 1 because electric cars are quieter than cars with gas-guzzling engines, but that does not make Formula E racing any less exciting than its big brother. Spectators still enjoy the engines fitted in the electric motors and the screeching sound around the turns. In addition, the race is attracting big sponsors and advertisers, but they are not Budweiser and Sunoco, like NASCAR. Instead, they are Qualcomm and Panasonic. Richard Branson’s Virgin sponsors the car that won the race on Saturday.

Irrespective of whether Tesla will take part in the current season, the company has worked a lot to change the mindset of people when it comes to long-range, high-performance electric cars. In the days to come, Tesla just might add more finesse to Formula E racing by developing more efficient batteries to help electric cars compete with the cars in their Formula 1 counterpart.

At 10:31 a.m. Eastern on Tuesday, Tesla shares were down 1.64% at $336.97. Year to date, the stock is up almost 58%, while in the last year, it is up more than 46%.

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