|David Mayer de Rothschild, Alejandro Agag, Gil de Ferran, and Fisher Stevens|
Extreme E - a pioneering electric off-road racing series taking place in five of the most unique and remote locations on the planet - was today launched by motorsport legend Gil de Ferran and entrepreneur Alejandro Agag.
The innovative sport and entertainment concept will showcase electric sport utility vehicles (SUVs) competing in extreme environments, highlighting not only the prowess of such vehicles, star drivers and advanced technologies - but crucially the challenges faced by each ecosystem.
Set to commence in January 2021, five events will be staged in locations of outstanding natural beauty, which are under threat from climate change and other challenges, such as - the Arctic, the Himalayas, Sahara desert, the Amazon rainforest and islands in the Indian Ocean. By demonstrating the performance of electric cars racing in these harsh terrains and conditions - Extreme E will play a key role in raising global awareness of the specific issues each environment faces, such as melting ice caps, deforestation, desertification, retreating mountain glaciers, plastic pollution and rising sea levels.
Seeking to set new standards in sports broadcasting, 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.
Launched on board the former Royal Mail Ship - St. Helena - beside Tower Bridge in London, Extreme E is committed to reducing its carbon emissions, alongside ongoing legacy initiatives at each destination to help protect already damaged ecosystems impacted by climate change.
Acclaimed British explorer and environmentalist David de Rothschild will be Chief Explorer of Extreme E and lead the mission to take electric racing to some of the world’s most remote locations.
In the same spirit of great expeditions of the past, all equipment will travel by sea, on board the near 7,000-tonne vessel, which previously delivered supplies to the island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean. RMS St. Helena will act as a ‘floating paddock’ for Extreme E and will be modernized and improved using renewable energy technologies, as part of a multi-million pound renovation project.
Chairman of Extreme E, Gil de Ferran 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.”
Operated in association with Formula E, organizers of the rapidly-growing ABB FIA Formula E Championship, Extreme E will use a traditional round-robin format with two groups of six teams – with the top-four progressing to the knock-out stage and each driver going head-to-head to earn a place in the final. The off-road stages will be around 6-10km in length with a series of virtual gates to be navigated through by drivers - in a mixture of extreme heat and humidity, high altitude and sub- zero temperatures.
Founder & CEO of Formula E, Alejandro Agag said:
“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 Tires 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.”
British adventurer and environmentalist, David de Rothschild, Chief Explorer of Extreme E, said:
“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.”
Adopting an innovative approach to sports broadcasting, Extreme E races will be screened across the world in a serial documentary style, allowing fans to follow each episode with a cinematic feel. A special focus will be placed upon the adventures and challenges of each race, as well as telling the story of how climate change is endangering the ecosystem in each location.
Fisher Stevens, Academy Award winning filmmaker and Artistic Director of Extreme E, said:
“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 is a fully-funded venture and has already secured the backing of Continental Tires - as a founding partner and official tire supplier. CBMM is also supporting the series as niobium supplier - facilitating the integration of technologically-advanced niobium products in the chassis of the all- electric SUVs.
Nikolai Setzer, member of the Executive Board of Continental AG responsible for the Tire division and Corporate Purchasing, said:
“We’re truly excited to partner with Extreme E. This very new format of racing sports offers the opportunity to demonstrate how our ultra-high performance tires succeed in extreme conditions. Drivers in this adventurous off-road series will experience how performance meets safety on no matter which ground. An important factor of this series will be to heighten the audience awareness towards current and future challenges such as climate change, the responsible interaction with our environment and the protection of important ecosystems.
Sustainability is high on our company’s agenda and this aligns perfectly with the targets of Extreme E, too.”