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Extreme E: Racing with an Environmental Purpose

Turning the concept idea of Extreme E, an innovative off-road, all-electric racing platform to something real was the very first step to bring to life a puzzle designed to entertain while raising awareness on climate change.

Officially launched in 2019, the platform has been in constant development upon some key factors, adventure, competition, environmental challenges, location, and technology.

The latest chapter written by the Extreme E championship was revealed yesterday with the announcement of the full Scientific Committee integrated by Professor Peter Wadhams (University of Cambridge), as Head of Extreme E Scientific Committee & Arctic Specialist, Ocean Scientist Dr. Lucy Woodall (University of Oxford/Nekton Foundation), Amazon Scientist Francisco Oliveira, (Ph.D. University of Cambridge), and Desertification and Droughts Scientist Professor Richard Washington (University of Oxford/University of Cape Town).

Finalising this committee of world-leading scientists who will guide our climate and sustainability research, as well as our education programmes, is truly a proud milestone for Extreme E. We are honoured to welcome such a highly-respected group of academics on-board who share in our passion and our overarching goals,” said Extreme E Founder and CEO, Alejandro Agag.

The Royal Mail Ship St Helena will feature an on-board oceanographic laboratory allowing scientists to do environmental research, a process that will be documented in a Netflix style series.  

The action on site will be broadcast live to audiences around the globe.

Extreme E first Legacy Project revealed

The scientists we have enlisted are experts in their respective fields and will play an incredibly valuable role in supporting Extreme E’s goals,” said Agag.

The commitment of Extreme E with the environment is reinforced by legacy projects which aim to leave behind a positive impact in the locations where the series will be racing.

Louisa Tholstrup, Extreme E’s Legacy Programme Leader, further explained: “We’re delighted to formalise the support of our first legacy programme project with The Nature Conservancy’s Forest Restoration programme in Pará – the Brazilian state we’ll be racing in.” 

We’ll be securing 100 hectares of existing forest, restoring 100 hectares of native forest, and will maintain more than 200 hectares of a cacao-based agroforestry program by working with 50 local smallholders. It is a fantastic first step along the legacy path for Extreme E,” concluded Tholstrup.

THE 2021 JOURNEY

The all-electric ODYSSEY 21 E-SUVs will travel onboard the Royal Mail Ship St Helena to five remote locations on the planet, with Season 1 kicking off in January 2021 in Lac Rose, Dakar, Senegal.

The second stop of this unprecedented adventure in motorsport will take place in March when the racing series arrives in Al-‘Ula, Saudi Arabia.

In May, the E-SUVs designed by Spark Racing Technology will be competing in Kali Gandaki Valley, Mustang District, Nepal, following a race in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland in August, concluding the inaugural season in October of 2021 in Santarém, Pará, Brazil.

To produce energy in extreme environmental locations such as the Amazon rainforest, the Arctic, the Himalayas, the Sahara desert, and the Indian Ocean Islands is one of the technological challenges the championship faces.

The solution may come from clean hydrogen, as fuel cells would convert hydrogen to electricity to power the electric vehicles.

THE TEAMS

On Monday, Andretti Autosport was unveiled, as the sixth out of eight teams that will join the grid in 2021.

Venturi Automobiles was the first manufacturer to commit to the series, followed by HWA, ABT Sportline, Veloce Racing, and QEV Technologies so far.

All teams will use the same spec-vehicle; Williams Advanced Engineering is producing the battery that will power the SUVs.

In late October, a race simulation will take place with all the teams and their respective signed drivers.

 

Images courtesy of Extreme E Media

About Cecilia Demartini
Cecilia is a freelance Journalist passionate about motorsport and writing.
Her articles appeared on a variety of international media outlets.
Her knowledge goes from F1, F2, and F3 to other series such as MotoGP, IndyCar, Rally, WEC, and particularly Formula E.