Apr 26, 2013, 9:17 AM EDT
One of the more intriguing press events to happen during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend came after the event itself.
Lucas di Grassi, current Audi LMP driver and a former Formula 1 driver for Virgin Racing (now Marussia) and Pirelli test driver, was on hand to premiere the Formula E race car. Formula E is a new, all-electric vehicle championship that will bring racing to the streets beginning in 2014.
Los Angeles was selected as one of 10 worldwide cities for the new championship, and di Grassi, the official test driver, sampled the car around the Staples Center. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa welcomed the effort. Other cities chosen thus far include Miami, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, London, Rome, Beijing and Putrajaya, Malaysia.
Los Angeles has upgraded or installed 121 public electric vehicle charging stations, streamlined the permitting process necessary to upgrade electrical panels in homes and businesses, and issued rebates for in-home electric charger equipment and installation fees as part of their ‘Charge Up LA’ program.
Formula E Holdings’ CEO is Alejandro Agag, a Spanish businessman who has expanded into Formula 1 and GP2 in recent years with the purchase of the Barwa Addax Team from Adrian Campos.
More information about the championship can be found at www.formula-e-news.com.