FIA is the governing body for international motorsport and they’ve just endorsed Extreme-E as an official category. To gain this approval, a sporting series must meet strict requirements, including having in place governance that ensures the integrity of timing and results, safety standards and marshalling at the events, as well as formalities around penalties and decisions.
Extreme-E is a new off-road, all-electric racing category that takes place on in some of the most remote corners of the planet, to highlight the climate change challenges faced by different ecosystems.
This category is designed to showcase the performance of all-electric SUVs in extreme conditions and R&D spend in Extreme-E is likely to filter down into off-road vehicles for consumers.
The ODYSSEY 21 vehicle is capable of rocketing from 0-100km/hr in just 4.5 seconds, combine that speed with world-class drivers who’ve competed in Formula One, Dakar Rally, FIA World Rally, FIA World Rallycross, and Formula E and we’re in for a treat.
The series has already attracted a starting grid of global power-house teams. These include:
- Andretti United, backed by Michael Andretti and Zak Brown;
- X44 by Six-Time Formula One Champion Lewis Hamilton;
- Chip Ganassi Racing from the US;
- Abt and HWA from Germany; Veloce Racing, backed by Formula E Double Champion Jean Eric-Vergne and Adrian Newey;
- Current Formula E Three Time Champions Techeetah;
- QEV Technologies from Spain.
Extreme-E is gearing up for their official virtual launch online on October 27th. Season 1 will feature 5 events and kicks off early 2021 and will be broadcast to the world through a long list of international media partners. Australian motorsport fans will be able to tune in via FOX Sports Australia.
This broadcasting will be more important than ever as there will be no spectators at the events, in an effort to reduce transport emissions created from travel to the events.
“All of us at Extreme E are delighted to have this seal of approval and be officially classified as an FIA International Series. We’ve been working hard towards this goal and the speed of recognition by the FIA gives us all a great confidence boost as we prepare to start our first season in 2021.
This certification confirms that Extreme E will operate to FIA international standards and we will also benefit greatly from the valuable input of the FIA and the ACM (Auto Club de Monaco). The FIA’s decades of sporting and technical expertise will be a great addition as we get started on this exciting new sporting journey together.”Alejandro Agag, CEO of Extreme E
It’s great to see yet another all-electric racing category coming together. Following on from the success of Formula E, an off-road category is sure to reach into an expanded audience and help showcase that off-road driving (and racing) can also be done in a sustainable manner.
From a technology standpoint, it was interesting to hear Sky Sports F1 commentators conversing about the future of Formula 1 during last night’s washed out practice session in Germany. The sport faces a serious challenge of being relevant in a world that is rapidly transitioning away from ICE and even hybrid powertrains.
As evidenced by Honda’s recent announcement to leave the sport, the millions of dollars invested into F1, has been justified by innovations that can be leveraged in production vehicles. When that chain is broken and consumers are buying EVs, then it’s likely we see even more brands leave F1 for alternative racing categories that provide a better ROI.