Tesla will make its Formula E debut this December.
Since launching in 2014, the Formula E series has become increasingly popular as more major manufacturers sign up to the electric racing championship. Jaguar Racing joined the championship back in 2016 and BMW and Mercedes are entering Formula E next year. It’s also probably a matter of time before Porsche signs up.
But one electric carmaker has been conspicuously absent from the championship: Tesla. To be fair, the company has been extremely busy lately, rectifying Model 3 production issues, unveiling the new Model Y SUV, and developing future models such as the Roadster and Semi.
Better late than never, Tesla has announced it will enter the 2019-2020 Formula E championship with a bespoke electric race car. This won’t be the first time Tesla has made a foray into motorsport either, as a one-make Tesla racing series, known as the Electric Production Car Series, has also been given the green light by the FIA.
Tesla hasn’t announced any technical details for its new race car yet. To meet regulations, current Formula E race cars are powered by a lightweight 54 kWh battery that weighs just 551 pounds. While the first-generation Formula E racers only lasted 25 minutes that meant drivers had to inconveniently swap cars mid-race, the current cars have a longer range of 50 minutes, which can last for the entire race. They have a maximum power output of 335 hp and can sprint from 0-62 mph in 2.8 seconds before hitting a top speed of 174 mph.
With Tesla now entering Formula E, next year’s cars will be significantly faster, lighter, and have even longer ranges.
More details will be announced in the run-up to Tesla’s Formula E debut this December. Round one will take place at the Ad-Diriyah Street Circuit in Saudi Arabia. Other confirmed circuits in season six include the Seoul Street Circuit in South Korea and the ExCeL Arena Circuit in London.