The Bluebird GTL Formula E concept racing car. Photograph: Paul Grover /Rex Features
London has been officially selected as one of only eight cities around the world to host a race as part of the upcoming Formula E electric car racing series.
The capital beat stiff competition from 23 cities around the world that expressed an interest in hosting one of the 10 races planned for next year. It now joins Rome, Los Angeles, Miami, Beijing, Putrajaya, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro as the selected locations for the inaugural season. Formula E Holdings, the promoter of the FIA Formula E Championship, said two more races would be announced at a later date.
The organiser is now planning to work with each of the selected cities to confirm their feasibility and finalise the calendar for the first season, with a view to signing formal agreements with the host cities by July. The final calendar will then be presented to the FIA for final approval at its World Motor Sport Council summit in September.
"The fact that cities from all over the world are interested in the FIA Formula E Championship is extremely heartening and shows a global commitment to clean mobility and sustainability," said Alejandro Agag, chief executive of Formula E Holdings, in a statement. "The provisional calendar we publish today is composed of cities in America, Europe and Asia. We look forward to also racing in Africa and Australasia from 2015 onwards."
He added that the company would now work with the cities to ensure the tracks adhere to the championship's goal of delivering city centre racing that can demonstrate the benefits of electric vehicles to as wide an audience as possible.
"[All the races will] be in city centres, easily accessible by public transport, and will feature some of the most beautiful and well-known landmarks as a spectacular backdrop for the races," he explained. "The fact that we will only race in city centres highlights the main message of our Championship: the electric car as a solution for mobility in cities of the future."
The news was welcomed by London Mayor Boris Johnson who described the plans for an electric vehicle championship as a "scintillating concept".
"I am hugely keen that London be involved in the birth of Formula E," he said. "It has the potential to highlight the impressive strides being made in the manufacture of electric vehicles and hosting a street race could also be of considerable economic benefit to our city."
Formula E Holdings will now turn its attention to filling the grid for the championship, after the UK-based Team Drayson and Team China Racing recently became the first two teams to confirm their involvement.