Formula E Vancouver cancelled in 2022, with race postponed to next year

Apr 23 2022, 12:04 am

The inaugural FIA Formula E race in Vancouver scheduled for the Canada Day 2022 long weekend has been cancelled by organizers.

Montreal-based OSS Group, the organizer of the Vancouver E-Prix, has made a decision to cancel the three-day event named Canadian E-Fest, which was scheduled for June 30 to July 2, 2022.

The City of Vancouver has confirmed the decision by organizers, and says it will work with OSS Group to announce a new date soon, likely in 2023.

In the backdrop of the pandemic, organizers were unable to meet the tight timelines to deliver the complex logistical plans for the electric-battery car race.

Last month, at the 100-day countdown mark, it was reported that about 30,000 tickets had already been sold.

Formula E New York City Brooklyn 2019

FIA Formula E in Brooklyn, New York City in 2019. (Shutterstock)

In 2020, Vancouver was selected as the preferred location to bring back a Formula E race stop to Canada, which previously had a one-year stint in Montreal in 2017. Formula E contracted OSS Group to move the Vancouver project forward.

Vancouver City Council approved the OSS Group’s proposal to host the event in April 2021, and FĂ©dĂ©ration Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the international governing body for auto racing, subsequently ratified the Vancouver race in July 2021.

The official event launch was held on September 29, 2021, which marked the start of ticket sales.

“After intensive review with the City of Vancouver, OSS Group has had to make the incredibly difficult decision to postpone Canadian E-Fest until 2023,” reads a statement provided to Daily Hive by OSS Group.

“The City of Vancouver fully supports the postponement. Delivery of a world class event is of the utmost importance to the organization. We will be communicating with ticket holders via ATPI our ticket partner to inform their options.”

City staff will provide Vancouver City Council with recommendations for steps forward on an updated Host City Agreement.

Under the agreement, the City of Vancouver would not see any costs, with OSS Group promising to cover all of its own costs, as well as all city-related costs such as security, logistics, traffic management, and sanitation. Typically, in other cities where the event is held, the race also sees investment from local authorities and/or tourism bureaus. This increased the event’s dependence on both ticket sales and sponsorship.

City council also stipulated OSS Group would be required to install physical legacy infrastructure, specifically electric-battery charging stations for public benefit.

Adding to costs not usually associated with a Formula E race, OSS Group had also planned a more ambitious event, with a larger scope than the typical event. This includes a sustainability conference held at Concord Community Park, and two nights of concerts at Rogers Arena, with Nickleback announced as one of the headliners.

vancouver formula e map

Formula E Vancouver circuit and site map. (Canadian E-Fest)

The race circuit would have been located within Northeast False Creek, using a portion of the route used by the last Molson Indy race held in the same area in 2004. The circuit included the use of the Concord Lands, Pacific Boulevard between Griffiths Way and Quebec Street, and along Quebec Street between Pacific Boulevard and Central Street. Grandstands and other viewing areas would have established a spectator capacity for 56,000 people.

There was hope that the hosting of Formula E this summer would provide tourism and downtown businesses with a much-needed boost.

The Vancouver E-Prix was expected to produce $83.5 million in local economic spinoffs, with 17% of its attendance projected to be international, 31% domestic, and 52% local. It was also anticipated the event would create 3,000 jobs across 195 suppliers, with 95% being local.

While Formula E is now cancelled, Metro Vancouver residents can still look forward to the return of major Canada Day celebrations, including the traditional celebration at Canada Place. The Port of Vancouver has yet to announce its details for Canada Day 2022.

Formula E Canadian E-Fest Vancouver f

A Formula E race car at the Canadian E-Fest announcement on September 29, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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