The brainchild of motorsport legend Gil de Ferren and electric mobility pioneer (and founder of Formula E) Alejandro Agag, Extreme E is a radical new racing series that plans to demonstrate the performance of electric vehicles whilst they take on some of the harshest climates in the world.
Set to begin in 2021, Extreme E will be an electric racing series unlike anything we’ve seen to date; with events taking place in extreme environments such as the Amazon rainforest, the Sahara desert and even the Arctic. All-in-all, it promises series that seriously challenges both driver and machine to the very edge. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?
The sport will be ran in association with the hugely popular Formula E motorsport series (left) and will use a traditional ‘round-robin’ format with two groups of six teams. The top four of these will then progress to the knock-out stage, with each driver going head-to-head in order to reach the final.
Stages will be between 6-10km, challenging drivers to navigate through a series of ‘virtual gates’ whilst battling with a mixture of extreme heat, humidity, high-altitudes and sometimes sub-zero temperatures.
Format aside, reading through the official announcement, that was released earlier today, you soon realise that there is more to this series than just putting cars against extreme environments – there’s a real sense of adventure and purpose involved.
For starters, one of the important reasons for choosing the five initial locations was to demonstrate through sustainable motorsport exactly what challenges those environments and ecosystems are currently struggling with. Extreme E intends to raise awareness, on a global scale, of things like deforestation, melting ice caps, plastic pollution and desertification.
There’s also a grand sense of exploration that comes with the sport. This is demonstrated through the fact that all races will be accessed solely through the use of a former Royal Mail Ship named St.Helena (below). The ship, which is being modernised and converted to renewable energy sources, will serve as Extreme E’s ‘floating paddock’ and will ensure that the electric racing can reach the incredibly remote locations that are planned.
Speaking of the project, Chairman of Extreme E Gil de Ferren said:
“This is a hugely exciting project. Extreme E offers a unique sport, adventure and entertainment concept that has never been seen or done before. 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.”
Due to the exploratory nature of Extreme E, the entire series will be captured as a ‘docu-sport’ TV series by Academy Award winning filmmaker (and now Artistic Director of Extreme E) Fisher Stevens. According to the creators of the sport, this will be the first docu-sport ever created and aired.
Any sport with a ‘Chief Explorer’ on its crew has to be something to get excited about! The first race will take place in January 2021 but we’re sure there will be more updates coming soon. Make sure to keep an eye on Facebook, Linkedin and Instagram for more.