Huge news in the EV world dropped over the weekend, when Florida-based Motorsport Network announced that it has nailed down a stake in the Formula E electric vehicle racing circuit. The deal all but guarantees a higher profile for EV technology among auto and sports fans, helping to push the case for mainstreaming battery-operated vehicles in the consumer market.
To justify the investment, Motorsport Network cites compelling evidence that EV fans are more engaged in racing than their gasmobile counterparts, so let’s take a look and see what’s up.
EV Fans Make Some Noise
According to Motorsport, interest in the Formula E circuit has been growing and registers “higher than average engagement levels around electric and green automotive content.”
The numbers are compelling. Formula E is the all-electric version of Formula 1 racing. It launched just two years ago, in 2014 (CleanTechnica visited the 2015 race in Berlin), and its fans are already having an outsized impact on the auto racing media world.
Motorsport cites these figures:
Formula E achieves 50% higher levels of subscriber engagement than general motorsport content on Autosport.com
Formula E social reach exceeds 400m per race
Dwell time for EV stories on Motor1.com is 166% longer than general automotive content
Motorsport itself is no slouch. The company represents “the largest audience of motorsport and auto enthusiasts in the world,” according to its website.
The numbers back it up. With 47 countries and 17 languages under its belt, Motorsport garners 85 million pageviews monthly on its website.
The company also recently extended its reach with the acquisition of Motors TV last November, and the motor racing sector of Haymarket Media Group last October.
Interest in Formula E by auto manufacturers is also growing, which means that Formula E will provide a test bed for cutting edge EV technology that could find its way into regular street vehicles sooner rather than later.
So, What Does This Have To Do With Donald Trump?
Since the US presidential election last November, CleanTechnica has been dipping into politics a little more frequently than usual.
Among other things, that’s because President-elect Donald Trump has nominated a cabinet geared toward halting, and potentially reversing, the progress that the US auto industry has made on developing EV technology and introducing it to mainstream consumers.
With that in mind, the news from Motorsport Network offers an important lesson: make some noise and you will be heard.
US political observers got a real-time demonstration of the negative side of that coin last week, when Republican leadership in Congress held a secret vote aimed at gutting the office responsible for overseeing ethics.
Once that news leaked out, representatives were flooded with irate phone calls and quickly backed down — for now, at least.
That short-lived and embarrassing episode may be repeated sooner rather than later.
The Intertubes have been lighting up with the circulation of Indivisible, a free guide to speaking up assembled by an ad hoc group of former Congressional staffers (Democrats, presumably), so it looks like representatives on board with the Trump agenda will be receiving irate calls from their constituents on a number of other issues, too.
EV Owners Are A Constituency Now
It’s a safe bet that EV owners will be among those making phone calls, if Trump Administration policies aim at working against EV tech.
You can reach your US representatives simply by calling the main switchboard for Congress, 202-224-3121.
At CivilRights.org you can also find some handy guidance on calling your representative (breaks added for readability):
It is important to let them know why you are calling and what issue you are calling about.
You will sometimes be able to speak directly to your senator or representative, but more often you will speak to a staff person in the member’s office. This person keeps track of how many people called and their positions on issues, and provides a summary to the member.
Be assured that your call does count, even if you are not able to speak directly to your senator or representative.
If you are fortunate enough to have representatives who support clean energy and EV tech, be sure to give them a shout-out every once in a while, too.
As Motorsport has just demonstrated, positivity works, too.
Photo: CT exclusive shot on request at Berlin Formula E 2015 by Thierry Apparu in Venturi garage, via Tina Casey.
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