Cash boost for electric racing series as it revs up for launch

 

Formula E, a new electric racing series with motors made by the British engineering firm McLaren, is set to announce that investment funds have injected around £25m into the business to get a 20 per cent stake as it heads into its inaugural race in September.

Formula E is the world’s first fully electric motorsport series, and its green credentials have attracted a glittering array of team owners. They include Audi, Sir Richard Branson, the ex-Formula One champion Alain Prost, the actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Lord Drayson, a former minister for science and innovation.

The Formula E cars sound like giant, remote-controlled vehicles. The series’s chief executive, Alejandro Agag, acknowledges that they may be louder than the new V6 engines which have been introduced to Formula One this year and have been widely criticised for being too quiet.

Mr Agag majority-owns Formula E Holdings (FEH) with the Spanish billionaire Enrique Banuelos.

In December they sold a  10 per cent stake in it for an estimated £12.5m to Causeway Media Partners, an American fund founded by the venture capitalist Bob Higgins along with Wyc Grousbeck and Mark Wan, the co-owners of the Boston Celtics, the most-successful team in the NBA basketball league.

“The Americans were one of a bigger round of investors,” said Mr Agag. “We have completed the round now and a number of investors came on board, so there are others to be announced in a week. Financial investors of the same size, more or less. There are three investors. They are more funds than companies.”

The Formula E cars have a top speed of 150mph and will race in 10 city-centre locations including Miami, Monaco and London, which will host the finale in June next year.

“In 2015 I think it can go up to two more. Hong Kong will be added, I think. The ultimate plan is to grow it to 20 races in five years,” said Mr Agag.

Last month he signed a deal to show all the races live on ITV in the UK.

His sights are now set on securing a £15m sponsorship which gives naming rights of the Formula E trophy and logos on every car.

“We are talking to three different  parties about a cup sponsorship. Progressing with the three in parallel. There is one bank, there is one energy company and there is one retail internet company. We hope to finalise in the next two or three months,” he said.

Mr Agag added that the annual running costs of the series will be £40m with  60 per cent of the budget coming from sponsorship.

Hospitality, merchandise and tickets will provide  30 per cent, with the remainder coming from fees  from broadcasters.

McLaren isn’t the only British brand involved with the Formula E car, as Oxfordshire-based Williams F1 will be supplying the batteries.

The watch manufacturer  Tag Heuer will handle the timing, Michelin will provide the tyres and Renault is the technical partner.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis speaks to his French teacher
tvThe Boy in the Dress, TV review
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Life and Style
Mark's crab tarts are just the right size
food + drinkMark Hix cooks up some snacks that pack a punch
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Equity | New York

Not specified: Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Global Equity | New Yor...

Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation

Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...

Selby Jennings: Oil Operations

Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...

Day In a Page

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect