After several months of occasionally intense competition, Formula E’s first season of all-electric racing is over. Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird has won the second race of the London ePrix, while NEXTEV TCR’s Nelson Piquet managed to do just well enough (seventh place) to win the overall driver’s title by a single point. Not that Piquet’s chief rival, Sebastien Buemi, is about to cry — he secured the team title for E.dams-Renault after winning the first London race on June 27th.
This is a watershed moment for high-profile EV motorsports, although it’s really just the start of something larger. The initial Formula E season required that everyone drive the same car; that’s good for showcasing driver ability, but not so hot for advancing the automotive industry. The gloves will only really come off during season two, when teams can use their own motors and batteries. While it could result in a handful of manufacturers dominating the races (remember Ferrari’s Formula 1 streak?), it should also lead to technological improvements that filter down to electric cars you can buy.