Extreme E — the new electric off-road series — revealed liveries of its teams via a “virtual launch” event, marking just under six months until the championship’s first race in March 2021.
All the teams joined remotely from their various locations including the U.S., UK, Germany, Spain and Asia as they came together to unveil their car liveries using CGI animation.
Extreme E’s three key pillars — electrification, environment and equality — were highlighted throughout the presentation, which provided details on the championship’s sustainability goals, Legacy Programs and commitment to raising awareness of the climate crisis.
Team representatives who joined the launch included: Lewis Hamilton and Marc Hynes (X44), Mattias Ekstrom and Thomas Biermaier (ABT), Rupert Svendsen-Cook and Jack Clarke (Veloce Racing), Zak Brown and Catie Munnings (Andretti United), Chip Ganassi and Mike Hull (Chip Ganassi Racing), Adi Surjanto (Team Techeetah), Miguel Valdecabres and Joan Orus (QEV), Ulrich Fritz (HWA), and Nico Rosberg and Kimmo Liimatainen (Rosberg Xtreme Racing). Each revealed their unique liveries in a virtual environment which replicated the series’ floating centerpiece, the St. Helena.
The teams each revealed their ODYSSEY 21 electric SUVs in their liveries, and representatives from each team were on hand to discuss their reasons for being involved in Extreme E and their anticipation for the first season of racing.
The ODYSSEY 21 is an electric SUV, which can go from 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds, at gradients of up to 130 percent. It is manufactured by Spark Racing Technology, with a battery produced by Williams Advanced Engineering, a niobium-reinforced steel alloy tubular frame from CBMM, and purpose-built tires, designed by Continental, which are the most extreme the company has ever produced.
Extreme E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag hosted the event, alongside presenter Nicki Shields, and delivered the series overview, including a revised Season 1 calendar which now incorporates a season finale in Argentine Patagonia.
“Our Virtual Launch has been an incredible format to unveil our Season 1 calendar and the team cars, whilst also refining our virtual experience capabilities — a key theme of Extreme E — particularly during the time of COVID-19,” said Agag.
“Our team has been working really hard behind the scenes and despite the pandemic and the challenges it has provided, we are on track for our first race in March 2021. The series has gained massive momentum with no less than two Formula 1 world champions signing up with their own teams alongside other powerhouses in the motorsport world, and there is much more to come as we announce drivers in the coming months.”
Extreme E will see electric vehicles competing in five different locations, taking its teams on a journey to five extreme environments around the world, including Arctic, Desert, Ocean, Amazon and Glacier stages, which have already been damaged or affected by climate and environmental issues. The global voyage highlights the impact of climate change and promotes electric vehicles and low carbon solutions we can all adopt which help preserve the environment and protect the planet.
On the new race location, Alejandro said: “We are delighted to confirm that Patagonia in Argentina will feature in our Season 1 calendar, and it will certainly make an incredible race experience for teams and viewers alike. However, of course there is a far more serious reason why Extreme E has chosen to visit Tierra del Fuego. Glacial retreat is one of the devastating effects of the global climate crisis, and unless we act now these incredible places will no longer exist.”
Joining Greenland, Senegal, Saudi Arabia and the Brazilian Amazon, Extreme E will race in Patagonia, officially replacing Nepal in the season 1 calendar. The decision to change locations, and delay the start of the season by six weeks was made due to a combination of the COVID-19 pandemic affecting series preparations, coupled with the additional complexity of getting to the proposed race region in Nepal, though series organizers remain committed to a visit in future Extreme E seasons.
Extreme E mandates one male and one female driver per team for its events. During the launch event, Michele Mouton, president of the FIA’s Women in Motorsport commission, said this represented a positive step toward the goal of making motorsports a level playing field for men and women.
“For 10 years now we have been striving towards gender equality and equal opportunities in the sport,” Mouton said. “Extreme E is now supporting this philosophy and has taken concrete action that highlights female racing drivers’ competence. For me it’s a very very important element. We are really supporting seeing more women competing in a mixed environment and we are extremely pleased with this great opportunity for them.
“Of course, the sporting format itself is revolutionary with men and women competing together and against each other. It’s so important for women to have the same material to compete on the same level. This is a chance I had during my time and it helped me to reach the top because I had no excuse, I just had to prove myself. So, a lot of high-profile female drivers have been attracted to the series because it’s another platform for them to showcase their talent.”
Extreme E Season 1 calendar:
Desert X Prix: Al Ula, Saudi Arabia
Ocean X Prix: Lac Rose, Senegal
Arctic X Prix: Kangerlussusaq, Greenland
Amazon X Prix: Para, Brazil
Glacier X Prix: Patagonia, Argentina