10 Reasons Formula E Is Cooler Than You Might Think

antonio felix da costa, tag heuer porsche formula e team, 1st position, with his trophy in the pool
10 Reasons Formula E Is Cooler Than You ThinkSimon Galloway

Not familiar with any series that starts with “Formula” and doesn’t end with “1”?

Heard of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship but think the noise isn’t ear-splitting enough?

Not aware that many of the drivers have competed in Formula 1 and that a couple of alums are active in the NTT IndyCar Series?

Moreover, eight (Sebastien Buemi, Nyck de Vries, Norman Nato, Robin Frinjs, Edoardo Mortara, Nico Mueller, Jean-Eric Vergne, and Stoffel Vandoorne) raced this year in the 24 Hours of LeMans.

As Formula E makes its penultimate stop on the 2024 worldwide schedule and its lone visit to the United States on June 29-30, here are 10 reasons why the 10-year-old all-electric motorsport is worth a trip to Oregon’s Portland International Raceway or a tune-in to the Hankook Portland E-Prix on CBS or via live streaming on Roku:

pascal wehrlein, tag heuer porsche formula e team, porsche 99x electric gen3 in the pit lane
There’s no one pumping gas into a Formula E machine.Malcolm Griffiths

Net Zero

Powered fully by renewable energy, racing has been net-carbon zero since its inception 10 years ago.

pascal wehrlein, tag heuer porsche formula e team, porsche 99x electric gen3, leads stoffel vandoorne, ds penske, ds e tense fe23, at the start
Formula E can boast eight different winners in the first 12 races of the season.Andrew Ferraro

It's Anybody's Race to Win

This year’s calendar had to go to Race No. 7 before Formula E found a repeat winner. This season, it has seen eight different winners in as many stops (covering 12 races)—Pascal Wehrlein, Jake Dennis, Nick Cassidy, Sam Bird, Maximilian Günther, Oliver Rowland, Mitch Evans, and António Félix da Costa.

nico muller, abt cupra formula e team, m9electro
Each generation of Formula E car has been quicker than the previous one. James Sutton

The Cars Keep Getting Quicker

Rapidly developing electric-racing technology already has next year’s debuting GEN3 Evo car promising acceleration from 0-to-60 mph in 1.82 seconds, 30% faster than a current Formula 1 car and 36% faster than the current GEN3 car. It will be the FIA fleet’s quickest-accelerating single-seater race car.


More aerodynamic and equipped for the first time with All-Wheel Drive that’s allowed during qualifying duels, race starts, and Attack Mode, the 2025 model maximizes acceleration. That, Formula E claims, enhances “elevating the thrill of critical race moments and intensifying driver rivalries.”

Besides tearing around the circuits at surprising speed, the cars just look swoopy and hot.

jehan daruvala, maserati msg racing, maserati tipo folgore
You won’t need earplugs at a Formula E race, but that doesn’t mean the cars don’t make a unique sound.Sam Bagnall

The Noise (Yes, There's Noise) Is Unique

An oddly exciting mash-up of an incoming missile, a high-pitched can opener, and an air-raid siren, the sound of the field roaring down a straightaway certainly isn’t traditional for auto racing.

But it isn’t repulsive at all. It’s curiously intriguing.

“When these cars are going down the straight at close to 180 miles an hour, believe you me, we do make some noises,” NEOM McLaren driver Sam Bird told Autoweek. “You can hear the noise of the air coming from underneath the car or over the top of the bodywork. You hear the tire interacting with the ground. And you can hear the while of the electric motor. And normally, there’s some bodywork scraping, as well.”

pascal wehrlein, tag heuer porsche formula e team, 1st position, heads to the podium
It’s cool to be a Formula E say the young people who flock to the sport. Simon Galloway

Formula E Has a Young Fan Base

Formula E market research shows that 50% of its audience is under age 40.

jake dennis, andretti global, porsche 99x electric gen3, leads stoffel vandoorne, ds penske, ds e tense fe23, and norman nato, andretti global, porsche 99x electric gen3
Formula E says that 50% of its fan base is female.Simon Galloway

It's Female-Friendly Fun

Formula E says 50% of its fans are women. Julia Pallé, Formula E’s vice-president of sustainability, has spearheaded the Girls On Track initiative for young ladies ages 12-18. It provides career-development opportunities and offers education and immersive experiences at the racetrack, including access to full behind-the-scenes race-day operations.

In April, Formula E named Beth Paretta, trailblazer for gender equality in racing and owner of Paretta Autosport, its vice president of Sporting.

pascal wehrlein, tag heuer porsche formula e team, porsche 99x electric gen3, leads sebastien buemi, envision racing, jaguar i type 6, maximilian gunther, maserati msg racing, maserati tipo folgore, nick cassidy, jaguar tcs racing, jaguar i type 6, mitch evans, jaguar tcs racing, jaguar i type 6, jake hughes, neom mclaren formula e team, e 4orce 04, and the rest of the field at the start
There are a few reasons to believe that Formula E has a few advantages to his higher-priced racing cousins in Formula 1. Alastair Staley

Formula E Has Advantages to Formula 1

“Single-seater racing cars look quite similar and, in some cases, [use] the same track or similar tracks. But there are some massive differences,” Formula CEO Jeff Dodds said.

One is cost, enabling it to be an inclusive, rather than exclusive, motorsport. The lowest entry point of a team into Formula One is about $1 billion (USD).

“And once you're in,” Dodds said, “you have $140 million in cost cap, plus driver salaries and all sorts of other things that go on top of that. One of the ways that we keep the cost down is by having 70 percent of the car being effectively common, the same to every team. The beauty of that is it doesn't just keep the cost down—it keeps the competitive nature up.

So when you have 22 of the best drivers in the world, so very evenly matched drivers, you have the ability for a team to differentiate through the powertrain and the software. It guarantees high competition. We've had eight [champions] in nine seasons. Pretty much every season has come down to the last race of the season and if you look at last year alone in London, you had three drivers and three teams who could still win the championship when we got to there. It's very deliberately done.

We know that fans love competitiveness. When competitiveness starts to go, fan base starts to disappear. So we are very fixated on keeping competitive nature high.” Dodds made a bet earlier this year that Max Verstappen, winner of the past three titles and six of the first nine races in 2024, will win the crown again.

“It looks like now the question is not whether he'll win or not. We do not want to be that sport.”

antonio felix da costa, tag heuer porsche formula e team, 1st position, heads to the podium
The numbers of fans, both at the events and on TV and social media, continue to grow for the series, say Formula E leaders.Simon Galloway

It's Fast Growing in Popularity

Formula E CEO Jeff Dodds put the number of fans at “400 million around the world.”

mitch evans, jaguar tcs racing, jaguar i type 6
Jaguar is one of six manufactures active in Formula E.Sam Bagnall

Welcome Mat Out for More Manufactures

With the Lola-Yamaha collaboration set for 2025, Formula E has increased its claim as one of the most engaging platforms among automakers. Six are active with another registered. Dodds said, “I think you have four in Formula 1. I think NASCAR and IndyCar, you've got four and two. We are still seen as a preeminent race series for developing technology.”

jean eric vergne, ds penske, ds e tense fe23
Formula E is proving to be one of the raciest open-wheel series going.Simon Galloway

There's Actually Passing, and Lots of It

Even with city-center street courses the bread and butter of this series, passing is wild and relentless. The number of overtakes in each race—especially in the short elapsed time of the races (roughly 45 minutes)—is astounding. For example, last year’s Berlin event featured 190 passes overall, 77 by just lap 16 which was just half the distance of the race.

Have you been to a Formula E race? Hoping to get to Portland this year? Share your experiences in the comments below.