Usain Bolt Is Simply Electric Driving a GENBETA Formula E Race Car

Jackson Wheeler
4 Min Read

Sometimes a public relations stunt sounds too goofy to take seriously.

Here’s one that actually seemed to work—have some guy named Bolt drive an all-electric race car. And not just any guy, but Usain Bolt, who holds the title as the world’s fastest an.

Bolt more than lived up to his name in Mexico City on Friday when he helped kick off the ABB FIA Formula E race weekend with an exhibition run behind the wheel of a GENBETA Formula E all-electric race car.

And Bolt the driver proved to be much quicker than Bolt the runner, reaching 100 meters in 4.36 seconds, which was 5.22 seconds quicker than his record 100 meter record time of 9.58 seconds. The Formula E car with Bolt in control went 0-to-60 mph in 2.89 seconds.

“The car is like a rocket ship on wheels” Bolt said after testing the GENBETA’s acceleration from the start line.

Bolt’s all-electric run was part of the kickoff to Season 10 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, with the 2024 Hankook Mexico City E-Prix taking place today (Jan. 13).

Jake Dennis (Andretti Formula E Team) and former F1 driver David Coulthard helped coach Bolt ahead of his time in a car equipped with 400 kW of power.

“Getting the chance to drive it was a mind-blowing experience,” Bolt said. “The power from the start was such a surprise and the adrenaline you got is on a different level, easily. Driving the GENBETA was like nothing I’ve experienced before. I was told that as soon as you drive, you don’t want to stop or get out and they were right. I would do it every day if I could. If I get more time, I will definitely go faster.”

Added Jeff Dodds, CEO, Formula E, “Usain Bolt is electric. What could be more Formula E than bringing together two world record holders—Usain Bolt and our GENBETA race car—just to see hat happens? Usain broke the world record 15 years ago, and nobody has come close to beating it since.

“He came to our race event today with that same determination and confidence to step out of his comfort zone, get in our incredible race car, and see what he could do. He’s also asking me if he can come back tomorrow and see if he can go even quicker.”

Headshot of Mike Pryson

Mike Pryson covered auto racing for the Jackson (Mich.) Citizen Patriot and MLive Media Group from 1991 until joining Autoweek in 2011. He won several Michigan Associated Press and national Associated Press Sports Editors awards for auto racing coverage and was named the 2000 Michigan Auto Racing Fan Club’s Michigan Motorsports Writer of the Year. A Michigan native, Mike spent three years after college working in southwest Florida before realizing that the land of Disney and endless summer was no match for the challenge of freezing rain, potholes and long, cold winters in the Motor City.

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Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
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