The radical extreme sports all-electric racing series programme, Extreme E was launched yesterday on-board the former Royal Mail Ship, HMS St. Helena in London, taking electric sport utility vehicles (SUVs) to five of the world’s most extreme environments in the world.
The ship will transport the vehicles around the world and act as a base for the teams and drivers while the racing action takes place.
Extreme E is spearheaded by motorsport legend Gil de Ferran and Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag with the radical SUV series set to commence in January 2021.
Extreme E will operate in association with the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, adopting a round-robin format, with two groups of six teams, with the top four progressing to the knock-out stages and each driver going head-to-head to earn a place in the final.
The off-road stages will be around 6-10 km, marked by a series of virtual gates to be negotiated by the drivers.
“This is a hugely exciting project. Extreme E offers a unique sport, adventure and entertainment concept that has never been seen or done before.” said Chairman of Extreme E, Gil de Ferran.
“Viewers can expect a completely new way of consuming sport, with each episode telling not just the story of a race, but the wider race of awareness and the need to protect these remote and challenging environments being explored by Extreme E.”
This series will not only showcase electric sport utility vehicles competing in extreme environments, driving talent and innovative technology, but also the challenges faced by each ecosystem in decline with the greater impact of global warming on our lives.
It is set to race in the Arctic, the Himalayas, Sahara desert, Amazon rainforest and the islands in the Indian Ocean. Therefore, Extreme E will be increasingly important in helping to raise global awareness of the environmental issues faced by each environment: melting ice caps, deforestation, desertification, mountain glaciers, plastic pollution and rising sea levels.
Unlike any motorsport event before, Extreme E will be captured as a first-of-its kind ‘docu-sport’ TV series, produced by Academy Award winning filmmaker and new Artistic Director of Extreme E, Fisher Stevens.
Stevens added “Electric racing has become a passion for me, having worked alongside Leonardo DiCaprio to create a new documentary film to be released later this year on season four of Formula E, which tells not only the story of race car drivers – but also the story of how electric motorsport can have a pivotal role in helping us battle climate change.
“I’m therefore delighted to become the Artistic Director of Extreme E, and I think this revolutionary concept can both continue the fight against climate change and help set new standards in how not only motorsport, but all sports can be broadcast.
“My focus will be on assembling a brilliant team of storytellers both narratively and visually to create a documentary format series, which 21st century viewers will find not only compelling but also inspiring. Blue Planet meets Dakar.”
Extreme E’s revolutionary initiatives continue, with the series committed to reducing carbon emissions at every destination that the series visits in a bid to reduce the effects on climate change. Hence, part of the programme will be trying to help limit the effects of climate change in each extreme environment ecosystem visited.
The championship will carried out in the same spirit as great Victorian expeditions, with the RMS St. Helena acting as the floating paddock of the Extreme E series in having a revolutionary paddock complex in some of the most hostile environments in the world. David de Rothschild will be Chief Explorer for Extreme E and will lead the missions around the globe.
De Rothschild was excited to be involved in the series, providing a more public agenda for environmentalism and after the launch yesterday.
“I’m thrilled to be part of this new and exciting project. Harnessing the excitement and attention surrounding Extreme E, I’m looking forward to activating a global storytelling platform for nature that’s grounded in science, innovation, exploration and optimism.
“The race for curating and creating an operating manual of solutions and positive environmental actions on behalf of nature has just begun.”
Founder and CEO of ABB of Formula E, Alejandro Agag was similarly jubilant about the launch of the championship, adding, “I’ve always been passionate about progressing electric vehicle technology and the impact that clean mobility solutions can have on the efforts to halt global climate change.
I strongly believe that Extreme E can help make the world more sustainable faster, and we have a dream team to make this ambition a reality. Gil de Ferran is a leader in the world of motorsport, and in David de Rothschild and Fisher Stevens, Extreme E has attracted two of the best in their respective fields.
Likewise, welcoming Continental Tyres as a founding partner -and CBMM as niobium supplier – is a huge boost to Extreme E and shows the strong commercial appetite for this sustainable sport and entertainment concept.”
With the series set to launch in January 2021, this is a motorsport series like no other as it will feature as a docu-sport TV series in some of the most endangered habitats in the world. Therefore, this is not about the launch of a brand-new electric racing series, this is about helping to change the world.