The Singapore Government is in talks with the race owners to bring the high-octane but low-emission Formula E sport to the Republic
Singapore in talks to bring in Formula E street circuit as early as 2020 Drivers at the start of the race during the Formula E Zurich E-Prix in Zurich, Switzerland, on June 10, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

Who needs Tesla? The fastest electric cars are set to blaze a trail to Singapore as early as 2020 as part of the up-and-coming Formula E circuit.

The Singapore Government - yes, the same one that Tesla chief Elon Musk dissed recently for not being "supportive" of electric cars - is in talks with the race owners to bring the high-octane but low-emission sport to the Republic.
Asked to comment on the discussion, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, in a joint reply with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), the agency leading the talks, said a decision has not been made yet.
"STB regularly works with different private-sector stakeholders to bring in events that can add vibrancy to our sporting landscape and events calendar as well as enhance Singapore's reputation as a leisure destination," it said.
SingaporeGP, organiser of the Formula One race in Singapore, is also involved in the talks. A proposed circuit which includes Orchard Road is on the cards, but other venues are also being discussed.
"We are looking at modifying the Marina Bay street circuit for this," said a senior SingaporeGP executive.
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Currently, Formula E races are held in 10 street circuits around the world, with each lasting 50 minutes or around 100km - one-third the length of an F1 race - and completed with two cars.
This will change to one car from the 2018-19 season.
Although just four years old, Formula E is fast catching on, with cities such as Mexico City, Rome and Paris hosting the event.
Big-name car manufacturers are also jumping on the electric circuit, with Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Jaguar Land Rover joining, and others such as Nissan expected to do so soon.
Formula E
* A Formula E car hits 100kmh in three seconds, vs 1.7 seconds for an F1 car. Top speed is 225kmh, versus more than 350kmh for an F1 car
* There are women racers in Formula E
* There are 12 races, compared with 21 in F1
* The noise level for a Formula E car averages 80 decibels (dB), versus 134dB made by an F1 car.
Observers here said Formula E does not have the cachet of Formula One, but admitted it has potential.
Local racing ace Ringo Chong, 52, who has been on the podium here as well as abroad, said: "For motorsports fans, an additional race is always welcome. I'm definitely happy.
"But do you think we would close our roads twice a year? It'd be a different story if Formula E can be a supporting race for F1."
Architect and motorsports fan Tan Teng Lip, 68, said the race would be an additional attraction for tourists as well as young Singaporeans tuned in to the emerging trend of electrification.
"It's going to take time, but I think it will take off," he said.
As for the closing of roads, Mr Tan said: "Singaporeans are resilient. They will get used to it."
Mr Julian Kho, 32, editor of automotive retail portal sgCarMart, said it will be worthwhile for Singapore to bring in Formula E "if the objective goes beyond having another race".
"If we want to also promote electrification, and educate the public on electric cars, then I think it'd be worth it," said Mr Kho, who was in Hong Kong to watch the third season race.
The Singapore Government - yes, the same one that Tesla chief Elon Musk dissed recently for not being "supportive" of electric cars - is in talks with the race owners to bring the high-octane but low-emission sport to the Republic.

Asked to comment on the discussion, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, in a joint reply with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), the agency leading the talks, said a decision has not been made yet.

"STB regularly works with different private-sector stakeholders to bring in events that can add vibrancy to our sporting landscape and events calendar as well as enhance Singapore's reputation as a leisure destination," it said.

SingaporeGP, organiser of the Formula One race in Singapore, is also involved in the talks. A proposed circuit which includes Orchard Road is on the cards, but other venues are also being discussed.

"We are looking at modifying the Marina Bay street circuit for this," said a senior SingaporeGP executive.

Currently, Formula E races are held in 10 street circuits around the world, with each lasting 50 minutes or around 100km - one-third the length of an F1 race - and completed with two cars.

This will change to one car from the 2018-19 season.

Although just four years old, Formula E is fast catching on, with cities such as Mexico City, Rome and Paris hosting the event.

Big-name car manufacturers are also jumping on the electric circuit, with Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Jaguar Land Rover joining, and others such as Nissan expected to do so soon.

Observers here said Formula E does not have the cachet of Formula One, but admitted it has potential.

Local racing ace Ringo Chong, 52, who has been on the podium here as well as abroad, said: "For motorsports fans, an additional race is always welcome. I'm definitely happy.

"But do you think we would close our roads twice a year? It'd be a different story if Formula E can be a supporting race for F1."

Architect and motorsports fan Tan Teng Lip, 68, said the race would be an additional attraction for tourists as well as young Singaporeans tuned in to the emerging trend of electrification.

"It's going to take time, but I think it will take off," he said.

As for the closing of roads, Mr Tan said: "Singaporeans are resilient. They will get used to it."

Mr Julian Kho, 32, editor of automotive retail portal sgCarMart, said it will be worthwhile for Singapore to bring in Formula E "if the objective goes beyond having another race".

"If we want to also promote electrification, and educate the public on electric cars, then I think it'd be worth it," said Mr Kho, who was in Hong Kong to watch the third season race.