Manufacturers and teams are pushing for the return of an ABB FIA Formula E event to the West Coast of the U.S., which has been identified as one of the most important markets for the all-electric championship.
It comes amid a survey conducted at a recent Formula E commercial working group meeting that sought feedback on key race locations.
While China was identified as an important area for growth, a race in California, the largest EV market in the U.S., stands as a key objective among stakeholders.
Formula E has made two appearances at Long Beach, from 2015-16, and despite coming close to hosting a race in Los Angeles during its inaugural season, a return to California has not yet materialized.
It has been despite talks with several other major cities in the State, including San Francisco and San Jose.
Both of Formula E’s American-backed teams, Dragon and Andretti, told e-racing365 that like China, which recently confirmed a second E-Prix, the U.S. should also have two races on the calendar.
“While we are thrilled to be racing again in New York City, we believe that it is important that we also find a way to return to California or another city on the West Coast of the United States,” a spokesperson for Dragon told e-racing365.
“California is the largest EV market in the United States, and most importantly, electric vehicle adoption has and continues to happen faster in California than anywhere else in the country.”
According to a study from environmental advocate Next 10, 4.5 percent of all vehicles on the road in California are either full electric or hybrids, compared to 1.2 percent for the rest of the U.S. and 2 percent of all cars in China.
California is also home to leading universities and numerous tech startups working on the clean-mobility revolution, which Formula E is also playing an ever-expanding and critical role.
“The State of California, its residents and private businesses like Dragon, which is headquartered in Los Angeles, also share a strong commitment to combatting climate change,” the Dragon team spokesperson added.
“You will find similar sentiments across the public and private sectors in states such as Oregon and Washington.
“Given the West Coast’s strong environmental policies, the dense concentration of people working at the leading edge of mobility and clean energy technologies, the base of motorsports fans and abundant car culture, we believe the market should be a high priority and would play an important role in the long-term success of Formula E in the United States.”
Andretti Formula E chairman Roger Griffiths echoed Dragon’s sentiments and has called for Formula E Holdings to re-ignite the potential of a West Coast event in the coming seasons.
While the 2018-19 schedule leaves no room for a West Coast race, future evolutions in the calendar could provide opportunities, according to Griffiths.
“I think it goes beyond just ourselves and Dragon wanting to get a race over in California because it is a huge market and I think the sixth largest economy in the world here, so it is super attractive to OEMs and manufacturers,” he told e-racing365.
“It would be significant to hold a race [in California].
“As far as breaking in to the U.S. market then I think one on the East coast which we now have and then one over here in California would be the perfect scenario.”