LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Los Angeles has been announced as one of the 10 cities to host electric car racing next year.
Other cities include Miami, Beijing, London, and Buenos Aires among others.
Mayor Antionio Villaraigosa announced the selection in front of Department of Water and Power headquarters. As he did, an all-electric car zipped along Hope Street, with former Formula 1 driver Lucas di Grassi at the wheel.
“By hosting Formula E Championship races here, we ensure our place as a leader in the charge to generate awareness for electric vehicles and their benefits,” Villaraigosa said. The mayor also suggested that the race will increase tourism revenue, as well as draw “international attention” to Los Angeles’ “electric vehicle infrastructure programs.”
Los Angeles currently has more than a hundred public charging stations, and Angelenos with electric cars can take advantage of a rebate program to buy in-home charging equipment.
The race course has yet to be announced, but there are early indications that it will be in downtown. The cars are being provided by McLaren.
“Los Angeles’ iconic landmarks provide a perfect backdrop to bring to life the excitement of Formula E racing, while at the same time, inspiring people to believe in the electric vehicle for their own personal use,” Formula E Holdings’ CEO Alejandro Agag said.
The fully electric vehicles that are taking part in the race are capable of speeds of 140 mph or faster.
“Los Angeles is the car capital of the world, and its fast becoming the EV (electric vehicle) capital of the world,” DWP chief Ron Nichols said.
While the inaugural championship is planned for 2014, demonstration events for late 2013 are also in the works.