The newest edition to the racing world has debuted with a bang. On Saturday, drivers took to the course in the inaugural FIA Formula E Round 1 in Beijing, fighting for a place in the history books as the first driver ever to win a Formula E race.
In lap 25 of 25, it came down to Nick Heidfeld of Germany who drives for Leonardo DiCaprio’s race team and Nicolas Prost of France. Heidefeld made his move, accelerating to the outside. The two cars collided, resulting in a spectacular crash that ended with Heidfeld upside down, uninjured but shaken. Brazillian driver, Lucas Degrassi, ended up taking the win for Audi Sport.
At 150mph, Formula E cars only reach speeds two thirds as fast as their Formula One brethren, yet the new electric vehicles offer their own excitement. Apart from the technological feats required to master the nascent technology of electric racers, this crash demonstrated the dynamic acceleration capabilities of these vehicles.
Formula E might be the only motorsport that is quiet enough to allow music to be played throughout the race, but clearly it is no joke. It is also clear that some Formula E drivers are not yet acclimated to the capabilities of their new vehicles. Heidfeld’s last minute decision to attempt an overtake took Prost by surprise and he has publicly apologized to his friend via Twitter, “I understand that I am responsible. I just did not see him, feel very bad.”
The winner of the inaugural race, Lucas Degrassi, is likely the driver who is most comfortable being powered by a battery. He was the FIA’s first official test driver during the development of the Formula E Series. If this first race has shown us anything, it is that we can expect even more excitement as drivers gain more experience and EV technology continues to evolve.
Given the waning popularity of open wheel racing in the US, it is no surprise that there isn’t much buzz around Formula E. Tesla has succeeded in proving to Americans that EVs can be sexy, but the company is not even allowed to sell directly to consumers in most states, and we’re all still waiting for that “affordable” Tesla Model 3 that Elon promised us.
We’ve got a long way to go before Formula E takes over our weekends, but maybe that will change once Tesla enters a car in the race, or once we’ve had it it with the National Football League. If you’re interested, the next installment of the ten-race inaugural season will broadcast from Malaysia on November 22.
Written by Sam Jackson
A few months back we studied over 35,000 emails to dealerships on Mojo Motors from shoppers interesting in buying a car. What we found was shoppers don’t care about recalls. Only two people asked about them. That’s right, only .005 percent of people asked about recalls. Since that article was published, there have been something like a billion more vehicle recalls and that’s not counting those GM recalls.
Shoppers now must really be wary of open recalls on used cars. They aren’t. In a study of nearly 20,000 new email leads to dealers since May, not a single person mentioned the word recall. Most people don’t even ask questions as the majority of people (81 percent) use the stock email message. Here’s what everyone else (19 percent) wanted to know. [keep reading]
The war between cyclists and cars rages on as the “Green Revolution” continues putting more and more bikes on the road. Big cities are used to absent-minded cyclists and delivery boys nearly taking out cross walkers and scratching the sides of cars. Bike sharing compounds the problem, giving novice pedal pushers easy access to a 3-speed so they can run red lights and ride in the opposite direction on one-way streets.
Cyclists don’t deserve all the blame. What about jaywalking pedestrians and drivers that don’t check their blind spot before turning? No one is innocent. The truth is, there is space on the road for everyone, but if no one wants to follow the rules of the road, paths are bound to cross. [keep reading]
You turn on the television and breaking news is on every channel. It has finally happened. The zombie apocalypse. You gaze out your window and see hoards of stumbling, bloody, post-human creatures thirsty for human flesh. A government official advises the remaining population to flee to the safety of a heavily guarded military base 100 miles away. You grab what you can and jump into your electric car, only to realize it has a range of 81 miles and can’t make the trip.
It seems outlandish, but this is exactly the type of scenario that inhibits people from purchasing electric vehicles. In actuality, the average miles driven per day in the United States is well under 50 miles, yet range anxiety permeates society. Of course, that is not the only impeding factor in the sales of EVs. Even with the sizable tax credits, the technology comes at a premium. [keep reading]
Have you ever wondered what the name of your car means or maybe how manufacturers come up with names? After all, we say names like Camry, Miata and Passat without pausing to think if those names have a meaning. Turns out almost every car name has some significance that can be grouped into 12 categories.
We recently published a study to find if buying a hybrid car is worth it and the price per mile on an EV. While the initial price of the hybrid trim is more expensive than a non-hybrid, the savings with superior fuel economy pays off in the long run, right? The results were surprising and it got us thinking if diesel cars are really worth the extra coin.
We conducted this study in a similar fashion to the hybrid study. We found models available with both diesel and traditional unleaded gasoline engines, equipped them comparably and then found the difference in MSRP. We calculated how many miles someone would have to drive a diesel car for the savings in fuel consumption to outweigh the increased price. The only real difference between the two studies is accounting for the cost of diesel fuel. [keep reading]
Crossovers combine the comfort and drive-ability of a sedan with the utility of an SUV. Since crossovers are one of the most Followed type of vehicle on Mojo Motors, we set out to find if a crossover is more car-like or more SUV-like. We studied 15 crossovers and their specs including engine size, horsepower, MPG, towing capacity, payload capacity and ground clearance. See exactly where your crossover falls below.
The “most car-like” crossovers are at the top with the city backdrop and the “most SUV-like” crossovers at the bottom in front of the mountain. During the analysis we had to define what makes a car and what makes an SUV. Keep reading to find out why we determined a CR-V is more like a Civic than a Suburban. [keep reading]
We wanted to see where ridesharing services were operating to determine where it is possible to survive without a car in the United States. In our evaluation, we looked at five of the most pervasive services: Uber, Lyft, SideCar, RelayRides, and ZipCar. Then we plotted the services on a map which you can see below. If you’d like to learn more about these services and other ridesharing companies currently operating in the US, check out the ultimate guide to ridesharing companies we put together.
It is expensive to own a vehicle. The price to buy one, the cost to repair, insurance premiums, parking and gas…it all adds up quick. Until recently, most Americans had no choice but to accept these costs as unavoidable. But now, a significant percentage of the population is adopting new forms of transportation. In many parts of the country, especially in big cities, ridesharing services have made it easy to get around without owning a vehicle. [keep reading]
The first car-sharing program originated in Europe in the 1970’s, but only lasted about two years. It wasn’t until the introduction of Zipcar in 2000 that car-sharing programs began to take off. Emerging technology has fueled the ridesharing revolution, helping to make companies like Zipcar effective through advances in both software and hardware. Users can reserve a car from home or from their phones and simply walk up, swipe a card and drive it away. In the case of car service alternatives like Uber and Lyft, the ability for drivers to find passengers based on GPS information made it easy to track down a ride to your next destination.
Considering how ubiquitous they are today, it is hard to believe that Zipcar and Uber didn’t exist five years ago. But they aren’t the only players with skin in the game. Thanks to millions in venture capital funding, there are new ridesharing companies cropping up all the time. Although many services are not available nationwide, or in some cases even outside of the tech-fueled state of California, they all claim to be the future of transportation. If you can’t handle all the ridesharing choices, you can always just buy a car. We can help. [keep reading]