Formula E has struck a deal with British electric truck maker Charge, which will provide the all-electric racing series with a small fleet of electric trucks. Formula E will use the trucks for drivers' parades and for shuttling equipment and cars around the grounds of each race. Charge unveiled the truck at this weekend's Formula E race in Paris.
Charge received a $500 million investment in September 2015 from Kinetik, the same investment firm that spawned Roborace, which is an autonomous racing series that's set to debut during the next season of Formula E. The company's trucks run on fully electric motors, but are supplemented with a fuel supply to extend their range.
Denis Sverdlov, who created the YotaPhone, runs Kinetik, but is also listed as the CEO of both Roborace and Charge. That connection could help clear up one of the mysteries surrounding Roborace: where the cars will come from. (Right now we only know a few things about the driverless racing series, like what the races might look like, that Nvidia is providing the smarts, and that the cars look absolutely insane.)
The Roborace car, which was designed by Daniel Simon (who was behind the light cycles in Tron: Legacy) is also supposedly not a concept. And with Sverdlov so heavily involved in all of these different companies, it seems likely that the Roborace cars could be manufactured at Charge's headquarters in Oxfordshire. At the very least, the two could share some basic technologies. There, the company reportedly has more than 50 automotive and software engineers on staff. It's also conveniently located in what's known as the "Oxford triangle," an area where a number of Formula One team factories are found.