Extreme e driving in dust
Ryan Darby

Ryan Darby

Ryan takes the lead on all things 'wordy'. With a sports media background, a true passion for cars, and a LOT of driving experience under his belt, he'll make sure you have all the information you need, when you need it.

Sustainable racing backed by some of the biggest names 

Making the world of competitive motorsport more economically friendly has been one of the major challenges in recent years.

Formula E has been rising in popularity but has struggled to attract the big viewing figures that come with Formula 1, but there could be a new alternative for those wanting a bit more action. 

Let us introduce you to Extreme E, where electric SUVs will race in the toughest conditions, but all for a good cause. 

Extreme E’s founder Alejandro Agag wanted to create a racing spectacle that also told the true story of climate change across the globe. The inaugural season of Extreme E kicks off in April 2021 and it promises high-intensity, extreme motor racing that is designed to raise awareness of climate change and sustainable living.

What is the aim of Extreme E?

Extreme E founders claim that 30 per cent of the planet’s CO2 emissions comes from transport, so they plan to use the races to encourage positive change and a more sustainable future. 

They have five core principles that they want to achieve through the sport:

  • Promote greater environmental responsibility
  • Reduce the overall climate impact from sports
  • Use its platform to educate for climate action
  • Promote sustainable and responsible consumption
  • Advocate for climate action through its communications

To reduce their emissions throughout the season, Extreme E will rely on what they’re describing as their ‘floating paddock and base’, the RMS St. Helena. 

The boat will be used to transport the vehicles and general infrastructure across the world. It will also act as a base for the onboard laboratory, which will be carrying out crucial scientific research. 

Despite being 30 years old, the former cargo-passenger ship has been revamped and refurbished. It is now able to run from a single-engine to improve its fuel consumption and lower its emissions.

Extreme e drivers

Who is involved in Extreme E?

The race calendar will see teams travel to four different continents and it has already attracted some very big names.

Current Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton and his former team-mate Nico Rosberg have both entered teams, while another former F1 champion, Jenson Button is also involved.

Button has founded the JBXE team, in which he will race alongside Swedish driver Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky.

Some of the other high-profile Extreme E drivers include rally legend Carlos Sainz Sr, Australian Rally champion Molly Taylor and W Series champion Jamie Chadwick.

All teams will drive the revolutionary Odyssey 21 electric SUV, which is powered by a 400kw battery, providing 550hp, while boasting 0-62mph times of just 4.5 seconds.

To give you an insight into the true power of the Odyssey 21 electric SUV, it offers more than 100hp more than what you would get if you were driving a top-of-the-range (and already massively quick) Audi e-tron lease or Mercedes EQC lease.

Unfortunately, the Odyssey 21 is a purely off-road electric SUV, but if you would like to behind the wheel of an on-the-road electric car, you can browse our best electric lease deals.

extreme e racing

How does an Extreme E race work?

Each race will consist of two laps over 16km. There will be eight teams competing in total, with the teams consisting of two drivers each. In a move to promote gender equality, each team will be one male and one female driver. Between the two drivers, each will get a lap each, but the teams must be strategic about which driver takes which lap.

Like Formula One, the race event itself will be split over two days that will consist of qualifying and a series of races on day two – including the brilliantly-named ‘crazy race’.

Races will include varying terrains and difficult conditions, as well as jumps, dunes and water, in what promises to be truly unique viewing for motorsport fans. Teams will be awarded championship points based on their final standings within each race that will amass to total championship points that decide the overall champion, just like Formula 1. 

Where will Extreme E races be held?

Five locations for Extreme E racing have been confirmed so far, with the first race being held in Alula, Saudi Arabia – the same location where the Dakar Rally was recently held.

Other locations include Lac Rose, Senegal. Kangerlussuaq, Greenland will also host a race, while Para in Brazil and Tierra Del Fuego in Argentina also make up the remaining race destinations. The first race weekend will run between 3-4 April, with the season finishing with the final race weekend on 11-12 December in Argentina.

The race calendar has been kept small to reduce emissions, while there will also be no spectators permitted. 

Where can I watch Extreme E? 

Extreme E will be broadcast on BT Sport, with the inaugural race being hosted in Saudi Arabia on 4 April. 

If you’re watching outside of the United Kingdom, a host of worldwide television networks have also signed up to broadcast Extreme E, including DAZN (Japan), MBC Action (Middle East and North Africa), RTVE (Spain) and SPTV (Croatia) among others.

Not only have they attracted some big names to the sport but securing worldwide coverage, including BT Sport, is a major coup for the emerging sport. 

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