Formula E

BERLIN EPRIX PREVIEW: Urban, innovative and sustainable

Formula E is heading to Berlin for the eight round of the season, to a city with an exceptionally eventful history. Today, the once divided city on the river Spree with its nearly 3.5 million inhabitants is one of the most vibrant cities in Europe and is recognized as a trendsetter in many areas – especially where sustainability is concerned.

To ensure the sustainable urban development of Berlin, which has a high proportion of green spaces at more than 40 percent, the Berlin House of Representatives adopted the project "Local Agenda 21" back in 2006. Its aim is to develop a society, in which liberty and quality of life are guaranteed to all people and every generation.

Mobility and transport encompass one of the seven main fields of activity covered by Agenda 21. The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is a particularly important key element in the mission to bring about a sustainable Berlin. A number of objectives were set out to achieve this goal: The extension of the tram network, reduced ticket prices for the socially disadvantaged and the gradual expansion of the cycle path network.

Get on your bike! Personal mobility: Radbahn cycle track
The Berlin cycle network currently has a length of 590 kilometers and connects downtown areas with the city suburbs. Starting from the Schlossplatz in central Berlin, twelve cycle routes connected by an outer cycle way and a double cross, consisting of four interconnected loops, fan out in a star shape to the outlying districts of Berlin.

The "Radbahn" is another project that is both ambitious and spectacular and was set up by a citizens’ action group. This scheme proposes the construction of some five to six miles of covered cycle path under an elevated section of Subway Line 1, taking cyclists through several neighborhoods from the city center to Friedrichshain. The job has not yet been finished but is about 80 percent complete.

Integrating electric mobility into everyday life: eMO
Electric mobility is another hot topic that has become increasingly important for the German capital. The Berlin Agency for Electric Mobility, eMO for short, was launched as a result in 2010. Its mission is to drive the technology of electric mobility forwards, to sustainably integrate it into everyday life and develop the metropolis and associated conurbations as an internationally recognized model.

Urbanization, digitization and scarcity of resources demand that cities such as Berlin deploy sustainable innovative technologies and intelligent networking of mobility solutions. Berlin has many valuable advantages as regards its location, having an extensive public transport network, a low level of automobile ownership and established technology companies based there – from the automobile industry, to railway, aerospace, electrical engineering and automation plants.

The Berlin-Brandenburg region aspires to combine vehicle, transport and energy networks and set the benchmark internationally for its achievements. The development, manufacture and marketing of environmentally friendly vehicles is one of the key issues, and Berlin should have 100,000 delivery bikes on which produce and goods can be transported by the end of the year.

Sustainability for public transport and parcel deliveries
Electric vehicles which enable an ecologically sound and economically efficient means of locomotion are a central component of urban mobility in Berlin. The E-BUS Berlin project forms one of the strands of the mobility program, and the BVG, the Berlin Bus Company, plans to introduce electric vehicles that use innovative charging technology in a move to the all-electric bus. An initial trial run is already under way. Buses are charged at the termini by electromagnetic induction within a few minutes – entirely without wires.

The introduction of the DP DHL StreetScooter planned for Berlin is another extremely novel project. The DP DHL StreetScooter is an electric delivery vehicle which has been specially developed for the German Post Office at the DHL Innovation Center in Bonn. This alternative delivery vehicle has been used in Bonn since mid-2013. The DP DHL StreetScooter will debut in the capital within the context of the Berlin ePrix.

The second ePrix to be staged in the capital has moved location this year from Berlin Tempelhof to the downtown area. The 1.927-kilometer circuit features eleven turns and winds its way around Strausbergerplatz towards Alexanderplatz. Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport driver Daniel Abt is looking forward to his home ePrix on 21st May: “With its long straights and hairpins, the layout looks interesting and holds the promise of an exciting race.” His teammate Lucas di Grassi, who is eleven points clear at the head of the standings, is also aiming to score even more points in front of the German crowd. “We’ll do everything we can for our fans and pile on the pressure yet again!”

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