This is the Formulec single-seater that demoed at Le Mans yesterday: doesn’t look anything out of the ordinary, really. But it’s not what this car looks like that matters – you’ll really get an idea for how different the machine is when you hear it.

Because the electric-powered EF01 doesn’t produce the sort of guttural roar you’d expect from a race car; no, this thing gives more of a concerned squeal as navigates the circuit. Check out the footage below, shot earlier this year in France. It’s strange.

But like it or not electric-powered single-seaters are here to stay. FIA president Jean Todt has made a drive towards sustainable and renewable power one of his key areas of focus, and is keen to see outside-the-box racers like this competing. Todt commented in April that “[the FIA] want as soon as possible to have new categories with new energy,” envisaging an electric formula as part of the Formula One ladder system.

“Whether this category becomes the second or third level is not so important, as long as it’s part of the different categories which go from go-karts to F1,” he told Autosport. Asked when he’d like to see such a  series introduced, the Frenchman said he wanted itquickly. [By] 2013 at the latest.”

Formulec has stated that it plans to run a championship in 2012, and would undoubtedly leap to the chance to align itself with the F1 circus – though perhaps the last week’s bad headlines have made it a tad less appealing. Regardless, it would seem the electric racing is the wave of the future. We just hope they do something about the sound.