Halfway through its inaugural season, the Extreme E has revealed the first look at how the second season of the all-electric off-road series is shaping up.
The sport for purpose electric racing series takes place in off-road locations as part of its mission to drive awareness of climate change issues, such as global warming, melting ice caps, rising sea levels, wildfires and extreme weather and desertification, whilst promoting sustainability and the adoption of electric vehicles to help protect the planet.
Alejandro Agag, CEO and founder of Extreme E, explained: “We’ve had a hugely positive response to Extreme E throughout this opening season, from governments to NGOs, who see great potential, not only for utilizing our purpose driven sports platform to educate on climate issues, but also to showcase the solutions that they and the wider global community can all be part of.
“As we approach the tail end of our first season, we wanted to be transparent about how our second season is shaping up in order to help enable our teams, drivers and partners to prepare. We’ve had lots of interest, both in retaining events in locations we’ve visited in Season 1, and from new locations and we are currently at a stage where we have multiple options for some of our races. As an engaged championship which aims to put fans at the heart of decision making, we are also keen to hear input and opinions on where we should go in future Seasons too.”
Provisional Extreme E Season 2 calendar:
February 19-20: Saudi Arabia
May 7-8: Senegal / Egypt / Tanzania
July 9-10: Greenland / Iceland
September 10-11: Brazil / Argentina / Uruguay / Italy / Costa Rica
November 26-27: Chile
The St. Helena — the former Royal Mail Ship — provides the championship’s floating centerpiece — carrying the series’ vehicles, logistics equipment and paddock infrastructure as well as playing host to scientific research with its on board laboratory, all in a bid to lower the impact of the travel logistics compared to air travel.
Head-to-head races, known as an X Prix, take place over two days, with each team fielding a male and a female driver who each complete a lap of the race course, including a driver switch incorporated midway. Course designers have been tasked with carefully selecting course options, which provide the most challenging, exciting action, using existing obstacles and features with elevation changes and jumps, in order to minimise environmental impact.
Race organizers undergo thorough environmental, social and economic assessments of each location with a local third party, overseen by EY in order to safeguard environmental protection, social inclusivity and fair practices. These reports have influenced the way Extreme E operates from water consumption, waste management and lighting on-site through to land management and ensuring the series races without a trace after the X Prix has finished.
Additionally, in each location, Extreme E works alongside local experts, governments and NGOs to implement positive legacy initiatives dependent on regional needs. Examples of Legacy Programmes in Season 1 have included; the funding of a turtle conservation project along the Red Sea coastline; the planting of one million mangroves with NGO TO.org and Oceanium in Senegal; cocoa agroforestry and Amazon conservation with The Nature Conservancy in Para state, Brazil; and the creation of a climate education syllabus for over 3,500 school children across Greenland with UNICEF.
Professor Carlos Duarte, Extreme E’s Climate Change Scientist, said, “I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of Extreme E this year and very much look forward to continuing our good work into Season 2.
“The legacy and scientific aspects are a true cornerstone to the series and already this year I’ve been able to conduct research in Saudi Arabia and collect ice samples from the Russell Glacier with Extreme E. This championship gives me and my peers the opportunity to reach people outside of our usual networks, it gives us a voice to reach the masses and educate on climate issues and the solutions we can all be a part of.”
As well as providing a platform for climate awareness, Extreme E provides strong economic impact to host countries. YouGov Sport, the international research and data analytics organisation, calculated the series’ inaugural event in Saudi Arabia contributed more than €47 million local value. These figures include employment of local personnel, logistics, transportation to and from the race site, as well as local food and beverage provision and hotel nights.
The overall media exposure of the Desert X Prix was in itself a majorly significant factor in the overall economic impact. Thanks to Extreme E’s 190 global broadcast markets reaching a global audience of 18.7 million, along with its strong media presence, resulted in an unprecedented media value of almost €32 million for the championship, according to the series, which claims that Extreme E has already surpassed its end of Season 1 targets on social media hitting 100 million video views, a 400 percent increase in engagement plus more than one billion impressions across its digital landscape at each of its two opening X Prix events.