Gulf Oil Will Sponsor an All-Electric Formula E Racecar

Oh, the irony.

Gulf Oil Electric Car
Team Aguri

Like a flock of sheep throwing a party for a pack of wolves, Gulf Oil, which is an oil company, has announced that it will sponsoring a racecar in Formula E, which is an all-electric racing series. In celebration of the new partnership, and in homage to Gulf-sponsored racecars of yore (see: Porsche 908, Ford GT40, McLaren F1 GTR, Aston DBR9), the Team Aguri Formula E will wear the classic powder-blue-and-marigold Gulf livery. A wolf in sheep’s clothing? Sort of, if Big Oil could ever be characterized as prey.

According to Gulf, the move is meant to indicate the company’s commitment to new types of cars and automotive products. As Vice President Frank Rutten noted: "Our participation in this event maintains Gulf’s long history of being at the forefront of innovation in all aspects of our business... The move reflects the changing focus of the automotive industry, with manufacturers increasingly focusing on the development of electric and hybrid vehicles. These new vehicles will require new lubricant solutions to ensure they run at optimum efficiency and to support the evolving technologies that will provide increased range, faster charging and greater durability.”

Here, the support becomes a touch more sincere. In supporting Formula E—and thus, an innovative drivetrain that might help the gasoline-slurping ICE into obsolescence—Gulf Oil seems to be saying, We know oil as fuel may not be forever, but electric cars will certainly require many of the lubricants we also manufacture. Fair enough. But the irony. Oh, the irony...