Mach1 electric kart

FIA bringing electric karting to 2018 Youth Olympics


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The FIA’s efforts to promote motor sport at an Olympic level has taken a step forward with the addition of an electric karting event to this year’s Youth Olympics in Argentina

FIA president Jean Todt announced the event at the opening of the FIA Sport Conference in Manila.

“E-karting represents not only a new opportunity for you in terms of motorsport development, it also demonstrates that the world is changing and we need to be a change leader,” said Todt.

“E-karting will also be demonstrated at the occasion of the Youth Olympics games in Buenos Aires in Argentina next October.”

Todt said the new initiative “marks a significant step for the FIA in its recognition by the IOC in January 2012.”

“The FIA is a member of the IOC’s Association of Recognised International Sports Federations – the ARISF – and, in that respect, recognised as such by the International Olympic Committee,” he added.

FIA sport deputy president Graham Stoker, whose innovation sub-committee authorised the Youth Olympics event, said the move “has an opportunity for completely changing the approach to motorsport worldwide as an international federation.”

“We can go to an international and national Olympics committees and say ‘we have a sport that is showcased at the Youth Olympics’ and therefore as a consequence of that [motor sport clubs] will gain recognition and support.”

FIA karting commission president Felipe Massa will drive an electric kart at the FIA Sport Conference and set a benchmark time for local karters and guest drivers to challenge themselves against.

Engineering company Bosch and German kart manufacturer Mach1 developed an electric kart in conjunction with the FIA which features a 20kW power train developing 300Nm of torque from a 48V battery.

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Mach1 electric kart
Mach1 electric kart

Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 15 comments on “FIA bringing electric karting to 2018 Youth Olympics”

    1. Vettel fan 17 (@)
      4th June 2018, 10:36

      Sounds cool, I hope F1 reaches the Olympics itself soon

      1. It does’t really make any sound. (jk)

    2. I’m a motorsports fan. I love the sport, am an ok (very) amateur racer too. I appreciate the strength, reaction time, endurance and concentration needed to be a great driver… But I’m not sure I’m totally ok with karting becoming an olympic sport.

      And honestly I can’t pinpoint why, except “do we really need karting as an olympic sport” ? Does the FIA and driving need it ? Do the olympics need it ?

      On the plus side : It would definitively mark the “Citius” part of “Citius Altius Fortuis”, and with one make e-karting it would be a level playing field. I believe the hope would be that it would showcase the sport to many people. But does being an olympic discipline help already expensive sports like Bobsleigh to expand ? Worse, it could make our sport more difficult to reach. In sailing, all the olympic class boats are notably more expensive than close non olympic classes. I’d also add that karting, like gymnastics, will have to include minimum weight and age to the drivers to avoid 12 yo winning everything (never a good thing).

      As a last thought, I believe the one really positive aspect I see is that chances of early olympic gold for young female drivers might put the onus on the best to push ahead with their motoring career rather than stop (which is what happens in the late teens of most great female drivers).

      Sooo, we’ll see i guess.

      1. You raise some very good points there @tango.

        1. Thanks @bascb, it’s really random thoughts.

      2. They stop because they don’t have what it takes to reach the top

    3. So cool

    4. Nice shoes…

    5. how much do these weigh?

      4th June 2018, 14:23

      I would love to see something like an Ariel Atom developed as an all electric platform. Strickly as a “toy”, use for short day trips, autocross, etc. That said, if it WAS developed, I’m pretty sure I couldn’t afford one! LOL

    7. That kart looks super dull. Like a fridge on wheels.

      1. It looks like theyve gone heavy duty on safety for the batteries.
        The Aixro rotary engined Kart was pretty awesome but it didn’t seem to take off as a Formula.

    8. Duncan Snowden
      4th June 2018, 15:34

      Why? I thoght the FIA was trying to clean up its image. So what on earth is it doing associating with that corrupt crowd of chancers and its quadrennial kleptocrats’ penis-measuring contest?

      “The FIA is a member of the IOC’s Association of Recognised International Sports Federations – the ARISF – and, in that respect, recognised as such by the International Olympic Committee,” he added.

      Ooooh! Squeee! They know who we are!

      Screw the IOC, and the horse it rode in on. (The horse is probably nicked anyway.)

    9. There is sooo much more to “Olympic” sports than meets the eye.
      Should Karting make it to that point, the host for the Olympic Summer Games will need to build a track, with all the attendant facilities. Not a cheap or an easy feat.
      To keep things equal and avoid the issue of technical superiority for any nation(s) all the karts will need to be identical and supplied by the host. The alternative is a technical inspection and standardization spec that will only result in conflict. You just know this will happen.
      The individual competing countries will need to create a National Federation, a financially supported athlete development program, a qualifying system to select the 4 or 6 participants (male and female) and finance the 40 or so people that will travel to the “Games”.
      While it may sound like a wonderful thing, Olympics for motorsport, the money will have to come from somewhere. Pity the poor (ethnically identifiable) inner city kid that can’t get to the Dressage event because the equestrian committee had their budget cut.
      Be careful what you wish for.

    10. How fast are they — top speed? Anyone know?

    Comments are closed.