Exclusive: schools series axed

Current E Dan Bathie Buenos Aires 2015 Formula E schools series

The Formula E “schools series” will not return for the 2015-16 season, we can confirm.

Run by British charity Greenpower at five of Formula E’s first season venues, the schools series provided school children aged 11 to 16 the opportunity to build and race their own electric cars on the Formula E tracks, between Formula E race sessions. It was an inspired decision and one designed to ensure that Formula E sparked a real interest in the next generation in science, engineering and low carbon technology. Losing the series is a blow to the sport’s efforts to create a lasting legacy from day one.

Our sources have confirmed that the series will not return in the second season, with funding appearing to be the main show stopper rather than any issues with the concept itself. As Formula E moves into its second year and grows from a start-up to a fully-fledged business, there is evidence of internal restructuring and rationalisation, which may explain the decision. However, cutting the schools series is unlikely to make much in the way of bottom-line impact, especially given that the schools around the globe already have their electric kit cars from season one and that the initiative doesn’t require much in the way of management resources.

Greenpower declined to comment on the decision when we asked. We have not yet received a response from FEH, Formula E’s organiser, although the school series page has been removed from the official Formula E website.

With fewer than three weeks until the first round of the 2015-16 season, Formula E does not currently have any confirmed support category, although Formula E boss Alejandro Agag has previously he’d like to see an all-electric feeder series in the future.

Tom Spencer

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