Former Ferrari and Williams technical chief Rob Smedley has launched a range of electric karts aimed to “answer Lewis Hamilton’s call” for cheaper motorsport opportunities at karting level.

Hamilton has urged action must be taken by the FIA and Formula 1 to produce grassroots setups and greater opportunities for underprivileged youngsters as he fears motorsport is only accessible to “rich and wealthy families”.

With the backing of F1 technical advisor Smedley, Electroheads Motorsport has unveiled its new e-kart and a new race series which will take place in both the Bambino and Cadet karting categories across the United Kingdom from 2020.

The e-karts are designed to provide a better performance parity between rival machines similar to petrol equivalents but with “significantly lower running costs”.

“For the next generation of racers, the era of the petrolhead is coming to a close. The whole philosophy of the Electroheads group is to get digital natives to experience the unique awe of the electric revolution,” Smedley said.

“As Lewis Hamilton himself said recently: racing has become too expensive and is not diverse enough. I totally agree. Through electrification we can change that. We will be the driving force to inspire, energise and thrill racers as they climb the ladder. It is cleaner, cheaper, faster and importantly, fairer.

“At Electroheads we know that electrification can be the vehicle for democratising motorsport and it starts at the grassroots and it starts today.”

The e-karts aim to ensure every competitor has equal power available and each team will be transparent on data to provide a level playing field.

“Electrification allows for complete parity, where the principal performance differentiator is driver talent,” Smedley added. “That’s why we’re here.”