This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

January 19, 2011

Cup Race Series for Electric Vehicles Unveils Inaugural Season

Photo of a sleek racing car.

A Think City EV will be among the vehicles competing in the EV Cup series for electric vehicles in 2011.
Credit: EV Cup

The world's first electric vehicle (EV) circuit race series, the EV Cup, will launch in summer 2011, with seven races, including one planned for the United States. Organizers announced on January 13 that the event will include two classes of racers: a city class of EVs for drivers in race-prepared Think cars, and a sport class with teams racing Westfield iRacers that can reach top speeds of 115 mph. A third category, the prototype class, will not feature races, but will hold time trials showcasing the latest non-production EVs on circuits through streets.

In addition to an as-yet to-be-determined U.S. site, the EV Cup is being planned for the United Kingdom, Portugal, and Spain. Confirmed race dates in England include August 6 at Silverstone, August 20 at Snetterton, September 10 at Rockingham, and October 23 at Brands Hatch. Each race day will include qualifying rounds, and all car batteries will be recharged at on-site facilities. Sprint races will be contested over 20 to 30 minutes of competitive laps. See the EV Cup press release and the EV Cup Web site.

On January 12, Think delivered four Indiana-assembled Think City cars to employees of Indianapolis Power & Light Company, making them among the first customers in the United States to own the EV. Their cars were among 17 Think City electric cars delivered to utility fleet customers and employees in Indiana. Think's plant in Elkhart has begun receiving partially assembled vehicles from contract manufacturer Valmet in Finland, which produces the vehicles for the European market. Workers in Indiana complete production of the cars, including installing electric drive trains with advanced lithium-ion batteries from manufacturer Ener1, Inc. in Indianapolis. See the Think City press release.