Nicolas Prost wins first Formula E race held in U.S.

Nicolas Prost, son of former F1 driver Alain Prost, wins first Formula E electric car race held in the United States.

MIAMI, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES (MARCH 14, 2015) (FORMULA E) – Thousands of fans turned out on Saturday (March 14) afternoon to watch Nicolas Prost win the first Formula E electric car race in the United States.

Frenchman Prost, son of former Formula 1 great Alain Prost, held off second placed Scott Speed and third place finisher Daniel Abt to take the checkered flag in his e.dams Renault.

Miami is the fifth of 10 cities around the world to host races for the inaugural year of the Formula E championship, launched in Beijing in September 2014.

So far, Formula E has offered the same, albeit quieter, thrills as the popular Formula One events, with low-slung, open-wheeled cars capable of speeds up to 136 miles per hour (219 kilometers per hour).

The cars give off a high-pitched whistling sound, a bit like a dentist’s drill.

The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), which organizes the races and also oversees Formula One, has attracted sponsors such as tire maker Michelin and courier service DHL, hoping the series will help the development of mainstream electric cars.

All the cars have an identical chassis and drivetrain, as well as a massive lithium ion battery that makes up one third of the car’s weight. The limited battery life forces drivers to change cars mid-race into a second, fully charged car.

The series will become an open championship next year, allowing eight manufacturers to pursue their own designs. They will be limited at first to the drivetrain; the e-motor, the inverter, the gearbox and the cooling system.

All other elements will remain the same to prevent costly competition over aerodynamic design.

The series now heads to Long Beach, California for round six on April 4.