What is Extreme E? New green racing format explained
Extreme E isn’t just about racing electric SUVs. The environmental work that will be carried at each round has attracted the likes of legends like Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Loeb and Carlos Sainz participate as team owners and drivers
Which is the Extreme E electric SUV?
The teams get to race in Odyssey 21, an electric buggy manufactured by French firm Spark Racing Technology. The firm has manufactured a niobium-reinforced steel alloy tubular frame, as well as crash structure and roll cage while batteries have been sourced from William Advanced Engineering. Meanwhile, the tyres, both for extreme winter and summer conditions are being supplied by Continental.
The 1650kg buggy is 2.3 metres wide and 4.4 metres in length. For perspective, that’s roughly 100mm longer and wider than the Dakar-spec X-Raid Mini JCW Buggy. The mid-mounted electric motor meanwhile produces 550bhp and can do a sprint of 0-96kmph in just 4.5 seconds and is also capable of attaining a top-speed of 193kmph. And that’s not it, the organisers are focusing on all round sustainability. The charging facility has been developed by UK based AFC Energy that has developed a hydrogen fuel cell powered generator to charge the batteries. The only by-product is water that can be utilised elsewhere on-site.
How many teams are there in Extreme E?
A total of nine teams, each having one male and female driver will participate in Extreme E, reinforcing focus on gender equality. The nine participating teams are Abt Cupra, Acciona/Sainz, Andretti United, Chip Ganassi Racing, Hispano Suiza, JBXE, Rosberg X Racing, Veloce Racing and X44. All teams have hall of famers piloting the Odyssey 21, with the drivers having vast experience in motorsport along with decorated CVs. To name a few, Carlos Sainz is racing for the Acciona/Sainz racing team, Jenson Button is piloting for the JBXE team, while teams like Rosberg X Racing and X44 are backed by F1 champions Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton. The races take place over the weekend on Saturdays and Sundays, with a qualifying track of 18km, with male and female drivers each driving a lap.
Where does it take place?
The Extreme E takes place in five-different venues in the world involving diverse and challenging terrains — dessert, glacier and forests. A dedicated environmental research team will also travel along, taking charge of cleaning up beaches, planting mangroves and raising awareness among the local population regarding the environment.
Also, the cars are shipped to these venues via RMC St Helena, a former Royal Mail Cargo serving as a floating paddock and is transformed as an Extreme E’s operations hub as well, with its powertrain extensively reworked to reduce emissions. The races will be broadcasted on platforms like BBC and Sky Sports where the whole race is recorded using drones and not helicopters.