Friday, August 5, 2011

Electric motoring taking a blast

Bernie Ecclestone has just come out strongly against a recent Formula 1 Technical Regulations stating that F1 cars in the future will be powered by electric engines while in the pitlane. In the article (from The Express), he reacted by saying: "it's like ballet dancers with sneakers" and "people could be killed because they won't hear the cars coming."

How very true Mr Ecclestone. I had my moment of shock at the end of the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. I was rushing in the throng of engineers, team personnel and members of the media towards the podium for the trophy ceremony and champagne session. Suddenly, a Renault engineer grabbed me by both shoulders and physically dragged me to the other side of him.

I had a moment of fury, not knowing why he did this. But my saviour calmly pointed at the big red Ferrari F1 car silently being rolled into the pits with driver Luca Badoer at the wheel and the engine switched off. With all the hive of activity in the F1 pitlane, you cannot possibly hear a silent car moving quickly towards you. A friend of mine, slightly further down the pitlane, wasn't as lucky as me and was actually hit by the Ferrari and she suffered from some pain for quite some time...

Last weekend, electric vehicles in the shapes of the Nissan Leaf and Peugeot iOn were bashed on the season finale of Top Gear. The road test by Clarkson and May caused a media controversy when The Times reacted on the Monday following the episode airing saying that Top Gear planned for the cars to run out of juice and lied to the public.

A few scuffles later between Top Gear's Andy Wilman - producer - and The Times later, Nissan announced it's own take yesterday in the form of a ridiculously poorly formed PR stunt which could shame even the most inexperienced PR professional out there...

Nissan Great Britain said that they would install two charging points in the town of Lincoln and invite the Top Gear duo to come and do the inaugural charge. Yeah... That's going to happen for sure. Imagine, it would be the longest inauguration event in history. Some 11 hours later, and they might be able to drive off silently back to Dunsfold.

What would you do during that time...?

Image sources: Formula One Management, Nissan, BBC Top Gear

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