A few days ago, the first race of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA)'s new Formula E Championship ran with the Bejing ePrix . The race is not quite a simple variant of Formula 1 with electric cars, as the heavy battery packs don't provide enough energy for a complete 50 mile race, so a second car is used to finish the race, and each Formula E car receives 10 specially designed tires per race weekend, which are designed to last the full race, compared to the 52 tires that Formula One cars receive. Though this is a serious race with serious vehicles, as veteran open-wheel and sports car driver Katherine Legge explains in a first-hand account of what it's like to drive the all-electric Formula E car, it's also an effort to promote the potential of electric cars via social media. Saturday's race was the first of 10 races, which will wrap up in June 2015. The Wire has a wrap-up of various news stories, and that article includes a full video of the race in Beijing. More information from Wired, and on the official FIA Formula E website.
China's air pollution is now so bad it "resembles nuclear winter", say Chinese scientists. The pollution is impeding photosynthesis and potentially wreaking havoc on the country's food supply. [more inside]