What’s Current E?
Hello, I'm Ross. I started Current E as a blog in March 2013 to follow the development of the FIA Formula E racing series. At that point, only a couple of teams were on board - there were no drivers, no calendar, and no racing cars.
As the championship developed and gathered momentum, I made a bit of a nuisance of myself by trying to talk to everyone involved and find out how all the techy stuff worked, resulting in a mountain of interviews, technical analysis and exclusive features. I launched the website you see today at current-e.com in Jan 2014.
(Possibly more importantly, I nominated Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird and Mahindra Racing’s Karun Chandhok for the Ice Bucket Challenge – though I’m not sure they’ve forgiven me yet).
The team has expanded this year to include graphic whizz Naomi and photographic guru Shivraj. We produced the printed preseason guide that was distributed free of charge to members of the public at every preseason test day held at Donington Park this summer. We did two editions – DHL sponsored the second (see it here).
We’re also working with some of the racing teams, which gives us unprecedented access to the garages, staff and drivers of Mahindra Racing, Venturi GP and e.dams-Renault.
What’s the Beijing 2014 magazine?
We’re in the middle of designing up a gorgeous magazine following the first ever Formula E race. Both Shiv and I were at the event in China, so the magazine will reflect our first-hand experience.
- Content: the publication will be filled with the sort of detailed interviews that you can see at the website, majoring on the stunning shots that Shiv is known for (check out some of the stuff at the Current E website). We’ll also have technical drawings by the renowned illustrator Scarbs, all the facts and figures from the race and more. There are interviews with team principals at Audi Sport ABT and Amlin Aguri, explanations about the energy management issues, thoughts from Alain Prost on that huge crash and much more.
- Format: the magazine will 210mmx210mm (partly because it’s cool, but mostly because Naomi has been bugging me to do a square format). It will be printed on uncoated, 100% recycled paper, using full colour fully sustainable vegetable-based inks, power from 100% natural renewable sources and waterless printing technology.
- Pagination: 48 pages plus covers if we hit our target – and we’ll add more pages if we exceed our goal.
- Limited edition: we’ll do just one print run – so this is the only chance to get hold of a printed copy. It won’t be sold in shops. It’s a one shot deal.
- Will it be available digitally? Yes, because we like to share. But there’s nothing like a proper printed copy to read when you’re on the loo, the bus or in bed on a Sunday morning.
- What about postage? We'll be using DHL's carbon neutral mailing, which means that the magazine will travel to you with zero net impact to the environment. And at no extra cost to you!
Why do we need Kickstarter?
Current E is our passion, not our living. We all earn our money elsewhere (and I have spent all my savings on following the sport around and producing the guides for testing). Putting our material on the website is the most cost-effective way of sharing it, but we think that Shiv’s photography deserves to shine in print.
My background is in publishing, and I’m still convinced that there’s nothing quite like a well-made, well-designed magazine to entertain and inform. However, printers require payment up front, and the tumbleweed left in my savings account just won’t allow me to publish an expensive magazine and sell individual copies afterwards.
This Kickstarter campaign will enable us to publish the magazine as a real thing and transport you through its pages to the Beijing race with us, from the finishing off of the track through to the race day podium and the aftermath of that almighty crash. If we exceed our target, we’ll expand the edition, and then start planning for another publication to follow the Malaysian round in November.
Phew. If you've made it through all of this, thanks! I usually ask people just to look at the pretty pictures rather than wade through my words...
Risks and challenges
The biggest issue we’ll face is time. We all work full time jobs, so Naomi and I squeeze in research, concepts, interviews, writing, design and proofing into lunchtimes, evenings and weekends. Sometimes things take a little longer than they otherwise might.
However, our plan is to produce the publication in October, which gives us several weeks to undertake all of that. We’ll keep everyone fully abreast of what’s going on by Twitter and at current-e.com – and of course, we’ll keep our backers up to date by email.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (22 days)