The Formula E boss, Alejandro Agag, spoke at a technology fair in Barcelona recently, claiming that the Formula E will speak to the Facebook/iPad generation, and that the series will inspire a generation of battery heads.
What he’s referring to is a demographic shift created by the flourishing of mobile electronics devices and the rise of Internet services. He said that he grew up dreaming of buying a Ferrari, but kids today dream of the latest iPad.
Maybe there’s something to that. But given what I’ve seen via electric motorcycle racing, the theory he’s proposing isn’t necessarily the case. While there are some young people involved and interested, there are plenty of older people involved and interested, and I haven’t seen any evidence that the demographics of the electric motorcycle racing field is tilted to the young.
Are those who focus on their iPads and Internet services willing to go to a real world racing event?
Where I do agree with Agag is that electric racing appeals to a different sort of person, and appeals in a different way than does gasoline driven racing.
For example, the lack of noise means that the physical experience of the race feels different than gasoline powered racing does. It resonates in a different place in the body, appealing to a different aspect of the person.
That means, the lack of noise isn’t a bad thing, it just makes electric racing different.
And, once people experience electric racing, see what a proper electric race vehicle can do, perhaps the audience will become as enthralled with the innards of electric race vehicles just as they get rabidly focused on the innards of today’s petroleum powered race vehicles. E.g. “Battery Heads” versus “Petrol Heads”.
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