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Published on January 27th, 2019 | by Nicolas Zart


Formula 1 Champion Nico Rosberg Turns His Attention To Electric Mobility — As Angel Investor & Startup Founder

January 27th, 2019 by  

There is something about ex-Formula 1 champion Nico Rosberg that I could sense when I briefly met him at CES and, of all the places, at the Byton event. It turns out Nico Rosenberg is a big electric mobility fan, and he is also putting his money where his mouth is.

When Formula 1 Champions Turn To Electric Mobility

Nico Rosberg is one of those champions we love to admire. After tenacious years on Formula 1, he snatched the championship title in 2016 and did the unimaginable, hung up his F1 hat. We thought that was it for the young champion, who would probably open his own racing team or something else regarding racing ventures. But not for Nico.

I was surprised to see Nico Rosberg in CES at the Byton event and hear Byton’s CEO & Founder talk about Nico’s interest in electric mobility. Later on, I learned he was picking up his father’s mobility company.

Now speaking at Davos, in Switzerland, at the World Economic Forum — where global leaders decide on the future for the rest of the world — Nico is making sure anyone with ears heeds the message. He added that everything’s going electric, even Formula 1 at some point will have to.

Nico’s plan is simple: Bring electric mobility to the mass. He’s doing this by taking over his father’s 20-year-old company. It presented a shuttle platform for Schaeffler as an R&D project. Shaeffler also presented at CES 2019 its wild 1,200 hp Schaeffler 4ePerformance Concept Car. The electric vehicle (EV) sports a mouth-watering 880 kW (approx. 1,200 PS) of power with 4 in-wheel electric motors from the Abt Schaeffler FE01 Formula E racing car (season II) — 220 kW each (Pmax).

Nico has also invested in the Formula E series, Uber, and SpaceX.

When Formula 1 Goes To Formula E

I’d be remiss to not mention the early champion who showed a leadership gene by switching over from Formula 1 to Formula E, Lucas di Grassi. Lucas has been a strong proponent of Formula E since its inception. I spoke with him in Long Beach, California, in 2015 and he told me that all of the Formula E cars racing at the same time were about the same decibel level as one Formula 1 car. But what was even more fascinating was his enthusiasm and deep understanding of what it takes to race an EV.

Envision Virgin Racing Formula E Team

Nico has a straightforward message for Davos attendees, according to the The Economic Times: “There are so many people here with great ideas, then everyone goes away, then nothing happens. Everyone is looking at their phones during panels and not listening.”

In other words, turn your words into actions and put those smartphones down. As to Nico, he also fronts the “When You Drive, Never Drink” campaign. He will announce his own EV startup in the next two weeks and will reportedly focus on green technologies and the events industry. The company is backed with his own money, as well as with partners from the traditional mobility industry.

Photos of Nico Rosberg by Stefan Brending / Creative Commons CC-BY-SA-3.0 de and Nico Rosberg / Creative Commons CC-BY-SA-2.0

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About the Author

Nicolas was born and raised around classic cars of the 1920s, but it wasn't until he drove an AC Propulsion eBox and a Tesla Roadster that the light went on. Ever since he has produced green mobility content on various CleanTech outlets since 2007 and found his home on CleanTechnica. His communication passion led to cover electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, renewable energy, test drives, podcasts, shoot pictures, and film for various international outlets in print and online. Nicolas offers an in-depth look at the e-mobility world through interviews and the many contacts he has forged in those industries. His favorite taglines are: "There are more solutions than obstacles." and "Yesterday's Future Now"

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