Electricity surges through a spinning blue Earth. A wind turbine whirs majestically under a perfect puffy cloud. A girl runs her hand through a wheat field bathed in golden light. And a sleek racecar is unveiled as engines rev and fans scream. "The race to the future," a faraway voice announces, "is about to start."
|Courtesy of Formula E|
|The all-electric Formula E race series comes to Miami March 14.|
That's the way Formula E, an all-electric spinoff of the madly popular Formula 1 car racing series that's coming to downtown Miami March 14, sells itself: ecological, graceful, and ahead of the curve. That hype has attracted international television deals for a tour of ten high-profile cities, celebrity backers -- including Leonardo DiCaprio -- and big-name drivers.
But not everyone is so impressed. Even before the first tire hits Biscayne Boulevard, Formula E has inspired myriad criticism. Residents who remember the old Miami Grand Prix are unhappy that a major part of downtown will be closed off for a full day on a busy weekend. A local electric-racing champion says the series opted for flash over sustainable design. And public-space advocates balk at organizers' presentation of the race as a triumph of the green movement.
"There's nothing green about it," says Peter Ehrlich Jr., a local environmentalist. "How do you justify calling something green and then applying to destroy a five-acre waterfront site?"
See also: Mayor Regalado Pushes for Formula E to Stay in MiamiMore »