A new Extreme E team will join the championship for its third season in 2023 as XE Sports Group becomes the series’ first operation based in the Asia-Pacific region. The team is the impact sports arm of EVDirect.com, which serves as a distributor for BYD‘s electric cars in Australia and New Zealand. Leadership comes via a proprietary company directed by Luke Todd with backing from former footballer Tim Cahill.
Cahill is perhaps best known for his eight seasons in the Premier League for Everton and participation in the FIFA World Cup for Australia from 2006 to 2018. Considered one of the greatest players in Australian history, he was the first player to score a World Cup goal for the country and has five career goals in the tournament. He retired from football in 2019, but remained in the public spotlight by investing in various businesses and being a board member for Belgian club K.A.S. Eupen.
The 42-year-old is a racing enthusiast, having attended Formula One and MotoGP races and participating in track days. In 2017, he piloted a Nissan NISMO GT-R around Bathurst’s Mount Panorama Circuit with guidance from Supercars Championship veteran Alex Davison, who even proclaimed Cahill was capable of pursuing his own driving career.
“I’m really excited to be a part of this team,” said Cahill. “The combination of thrilling, competitive racing and leaving a lasting, positive impact makes the sport totally unique. We look to bringing a significant new audience to Extreme E from within the millions of football fans across the world.”
Todd has served as EVDirect’s managing director and CEO since 2021 and was previously an advisor for BYD’s Asia-Pacific operations. His link to BYD also extended to his founding of Nexport, which also distributes the Chinese manufacturer’s cars in Oceania, in 2018. From 2003 to 2014, he was the general manager of Australian airport busser Carbridge and was its CEO during his final five years with the company. In a statement, Todd commented EVDirect’s “investment and participation in Extreme E will enable them to showcase BYD’s high quality, affordable luxury vehicles and raise awareness within Australia and wider Asia Pacific Region of the benefits of electric vehicle technology.”
“XE Sports Group will be bringing our own climate science and legacy program to Extreme E to complement the existing Extreme E programme with XE Sports Group to roll out an Asia Pacific Foundation with the mission to reduce poverty and increase living standards through the adaption of technology such as second-life lithium battery deployment combined with solar capture in remote or impoverished locations,” the director continued.
“Competitively, we are joining Extreme E to race and win. We will be delivering a world-class racing package and eagerly await to line up against the likes of the X44, Rosberg X Racing, and JBXE teams as well as the rest of the top-class field. Australians are renowned for overachieving in the sports arena, and we aim for nothing less in Extreme E. We will be racing for the planet and racing to win.”
Assuming no changes from the 2022 grid, XE Sports Group’s arrival will make eleven teams for the 2023 season. XESG is the second team to join the championship after McLaren XE in 2022.