The best thing about electric vehicles in 2019 is that they’ve become trendy. We can thank Tesla for this in large part, because it’s just about impossible to deny that Elon Musk has been successful in his quest to turn a line of electric vehicles into a desirable one, rather than just a responsible one. However, all around Tesla and in some cases even before this particular brand became popular among consumers, other mainstream auto makers are doing extraordinary things with electric cars as well. As you may have seen recently, BMW grew its EV sales to 140,000 units just in 2018, proving that even long-respected luxury brands are making EVs perceived as cool.
The hope, and frankly the expectation, is that all of this can snowball. Electric driving is clearly the way of the near future, and with some of the biggest names in the auto world putting out incredible vehicles, EVs are in some sense the new sport and/or luxury cars, in terms of being what people want. Even if there’s natural growth in the market though, those who support EVs and their positive impact on the world will always be mindful of what more can be done to raise awareness and generate excitement. In this vein, it may be time to start paying attention to Electric GT.
Electric GT has been in the works for a little while, but is expected to be off and running in 2019. It’s essentially a professional EV racing circuit, currently meant just for Europe, that will showcase some of the fastest and most powerful vehicles in the category – all of the Tesla Model S variety, for the first season, but with potential for other competitors moving forward. It’s clearly a huge idea that could, if everything goes well, make for the rise of a whole new, popular sport. To get to that result, a number of positive things will have to happen:
Formula E Popularity – Many people still aren’t aware that Formula E exists, but it’s been going for a few years now. Loosely modeled on the internationally popular Formula 1 racing circuit, Formula E uses only electric vehicles – though not the kind you might look to buy. They’re single-seater, F1-style cars with electric makes. Whether or not Formula E alone can help to boost EVs’ continued “cool” trajectory is difficult to say since the cars can be hard to relate to, but if this more established sport gains popularity, it could make Electric GT an easy add-on, in a sense, for fans.
Driver Recognition – Formula 1 and NASCAR, arguably the two most popular auto sports in the world, thrive in part because drivers are celebrities. From Richard Petty and Ayrton Senna, to Dale Earnhardt and Michael Schumacher, to Jimmie Johnson and Lewis Hamilton, there have always been superstars in these sports. This can only come with time and greatness, but the sooner the drivers of Electric GT become known – not just for skill, but for their personalities – the faster the sport will grow around them.
Betting Markets – Another thing that helps to keep F1 and NASCAR humming is nonstop, high-volume betting activity. Because of the prevalence of online opportunities and the chance to see what various sportsbooks are offering before making a deposit or placing a wager, betting is becoming more and more popular with enthusiasts and amateurs alike. And through most of the sites that have become popular as a result, you can usually find odds for major F1 and NASCAR events, ultimately handling tens of millions of dollars in activity. This doesn’t pump right into the organizations, but it does keep fan interest consistently high. Betting markets for Electric GT will be crucial once it starts to grow.
Additional Cars – As mentioned, Electric GT’s first year will involve only the Tesla Model S. It may be that this is the best way forward for EV racing simply because a given make or model may be more definitively capable than another in a way that doesn’t necessarily happen in, say, F1. However, it would likely spark more fan interest and event intrigue if the sport roped in additional types of EVs to complete with the Teslas. This could also ultimately result in different teams behind different cars, as we see in F1.
All of these things could help to grow Electric GT into a serious sport in the coming years. That, in turn, could help the already meteoric rise of EVs, as it could give them more of a place in pop culture and entertainment. In the meantime, it will be exciting to see what’s on offer in this first, somewhat experimental season of the new racing sport.