Formula E driver slumped against wall looking off in distance
Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA), DS Techeetah during the Monaco E-Prix at Circuit de Monaco on Saturday May 08, 2021 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. Photo: Sam Bloxham / LAT Images)

Formula E’s upcoming Vancouver competition comes to an abrupt end as organizers cancel the July 2022 race weekend after 30,000 tickets sold with an option to postpone until 2023

Formula E, the electric vehicle racing event set to make its inaugural debut in Vancouver this summer, has been cancelled.

The event’s promoting partners, the Montreal-based project management firm, One Stop Strategy (OSS) announced in a statement posted on Formula E’s website that “after intensive review with the City of Vancouver,” they have made the “incredibly difficult” choice to pull the plug on the event and refocus efforts to relaunch next year.

In an emailed statement to Electric Autonomy Canada, a spokesperson for the city of Vancouver confirmed that OSS “elected to exercise its rights under the Host City Agreement to postpone the Formula E event to a future date.”

There was no reason given publicly for the cancellation by either Formula E, the OSS or the city. Several groups of critics of the event claimed that by hosting the race Vancouver taxpayers would be on the hook for catastrophic costs from overruns. The previous Canadian e-race had the project go over budget.

The Vancouver city spokesperson’s statement continued, “The City and OSS Group will continue to work together and hope to announce a new date in the near future. City staff will report on this to Council at a date and time yet to be determined to request Council’s approval of an updated Host City Agreement.”

With more than 30,000 tickets already sold for the event, OSS added in its public statement that the “delivery of a world-class event is of the utmost importance to the organization. We will be communicating with ticket holders via APTI our ticket partner to inform their options.”

In addition to the OSS, Formula E had also partnered with global technology company ABB for the race in Vancouver. In an email note to Electric Autonomy, ABB said: “As title partner of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, ABB is not involved in choosing host cities, individual race promoters or in the organization of the E-Prix. These decisions are taken solely by the Formula E organization who are currently evaluating the situation.”

A return to Canada

The Formula E race in Vancouver was meant the mark the homecoming of the event in Canada since 2017, after it ran in Montreal for two years. The Vancouver city council agreed to bring the electric car race to the city in a 9-1 vote last year and the event was given significant promotion, including a kick-off event in fall 2021.

The first Formula E race was held in Montreal with two back-to-back races. It was cancelled the following year in 2018 due to cost overruns.

This year, the Vancouver race happened with a string of other participating destinations including Diriyah, Mexico City, Rome, Monaco, Berlin, Jakarta, London, Seoul and New York. Vancouver would have been the 10th of 16 stops on the 2022 ABB FIA Formula World Championship, showcasing the best in electric vehicle driving.

It was also planned to kick off the Canadian E-Fest festival, a three-day event dedicated to merging the world of motorsports, esports, music, art and a business conference on climate and sustainability at the False Creek circuit in Vancouver during the Canada day long weekend. According to the OSS press statement, all elements of the Canadian E-Fest have also been postponed to 2023.

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