Electric Formula E Cars Rev Up For Race
By Meisha Perrin
Miami city commissioners supported having electric cars racing through downtown two years from now as they thanked Formula E Holdings CEO Alejandro Agag last week for thinking of Miami for his company’s new class of car racing.
In April 2015, he told commissioners, the World Rally Championship and Formula 1 racing company would like to hold a one-day electric car race in Miami, chosen to be one of 10 international cities to host the event.
"We want to promote the use of electric cars in cities around the world," he said — cities that are "at the front of the green button."
For that reason the group organizes all the races in the center of cities as opposed to an outside circuit, he said, but still with aims to minimize disruption.
And the objective, he said, is to showcase the backdrop of the city.
The track would tentatively run around Biscayne Boulevard and the American Airlines Arena, through Southwest 12th Street and Southeast Second Avenue, turn right on Southwest 14th Street and down back to Bayshore Drive and back to Biscayne Boulevard.
It would take about four to six weeks the first year to set up the circuit, he said, which he told commissioners would only be done at night except for the day of the race. Organizers would need to fence off the area where the races would take place, and as soon as the competition was over, Mr. Agag said, gates would reopen to resume the normal traffic flow.
Any work that would be particularly noisy would take place in the earlier hours of the night.
For the races, Mr. Agag said he is expecting 11,000 visitors from within Miami-Dade County and another 14,000 from around the world. The race day itself would bring in $10 million, in addition to tax revenue, and lead to about 240 direct jobs and 2,000 indirect jobs, according to Mr. Agag.
"I think this is precisely what Miami needs," said Commissioner Francis Suarez. "It reminds me of my teenage years when I grew up watching the Miami Grand Prix."
It is, he said, another great event to put Miami on the map.
"This is precisely the kind of visionary project that we should support and be engaged in."
The event still requires more planning and would eventually need to go back to the city for permits and approval — but there is more than enough time to properly vet things, said Commissioner Frank Carollo, who also agreed that the race could be very positive for the city.
Formula E Holdings holds commercial rights to the series, which is owned by the Paris-based international auto club, Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile — the club that owns the Formula 1 Races.
The company is planning a 10-race events schedule in major world cities, according to its website, featuring electric-powered, single-seat racing cars that don’t harm the environment.To read the entire issue of Miami Today online, subscribe to e-MIAMI TODAY, an exact digital replica of the printed edition.