Extreme E success: 18.7 million viewers – turns out people do want to watch electric race cars

    When you create a new racing category, one of the things you’re probably most nervous about is the audience. Have you assembled the right combination of racing, drivers, locations, rules and technology to create a winning formula.

    As the world goes through this transition to electric vehicles, there’s been many doubters that people would watch electric racing given it lacks the roar that vibrates your rib cages as the internal combustion engines exhaust their gases.

    Early last month, the first round of Extreme E, an off-road, FIA-approved off-road category ran its inaugural X Prix. The all-electric, sustainability-minded category has put any doubt behind them with the numbers of the first Desert X Prix now counted. The global broadcast delivered a massive cumulative audience of 18.7 million, highlighting the appetite for this new sport for purpose.

    For those playing at home, Australia’s own rally champion Molly Taylor was joined by Johan Kristoffersson in Nico Rosberg’s RXR team to take out the first round. The second round is just 9 days away and teams will move from a race in the deserts of Saudi Arabia to the Ocean X Prix in Senegal.

    Season 1 Calendar: 

    • Desert X Prix: AlUla, Saudi Arabia – 3-4 April 2021
    • Ocean X Prix: Lac Rose, Senegal – 29-30 May 2021
    • Arctic X Prix: Kangerlussuaq, Greenland – 28-29 August 2021
    • Amazon X Prix: Para, Brazil – 23-24 October 2021
    • Glacier X Prix: Tierra del Fuego, Argentina – 11-12 December 2021

    The series has worked alongside YouGov Sport – global sports, sponsorship and entertainment research company – to gather data and insight into the audience of Extreme E’s first ever event, and the report has made for exciting reading.

    In total, the broadcast audience was 18.7 million covering close to 900 million households in over 180 countries. There were more than 1,500 hours of broadcast coverage with China topping the table, closely followed by Europe and Asia.

    “We’ve seen a phenomenal success for Extreme E’s first ever event.  Our strategy of attracting strong free-to-air partners, and a digital first, always on approach, when combined with our exciting and innovative racing format and a sporting platform with pitted males and females racing equally together created a truly winning combination.

    The diverse nature of Extreme E meant there was plenty of action across the weekend, with some truly memorable performances, with our female driver line-up coming out as clear winners.  These numbers demonstrate the massive appeal, not only of our racing format, but also our wider messages around the climate crisis, both of which featured heavily in our broadcast.

    As a sport without spectators on site, these figures are fantastic as they show our broadcast only model really does work to engage people on so many levels, whether that be through broadcast, social or press. We are looking forward to building on these statistics as we continue through Season 1 and bringing the messages of our series around environment, electrification and equality to as many people as possible.”

    Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E

    “For a first-time event, these figures are incredibly promising and show that Extreme E has tapped into something that looks to have real potential for growth. When we watched the event, what leapt out immediately was the shareable content it would produce – and that’s exactly what the data has shown. A billion social impressions for an inaugural race tells us that Extreme E could be on to something very special here, especially with the strong broadcast partners they have.”

    Frank Saez, Managing Director of YouGov Sport 

    YouGov Sport also looked into online media articles with more than 5,000 being published around the X Prix totally a readership of 1.6 billion, with the biggest spike being on race day itself. The UK and USA were the top countries for readership, with the USA and European countries including the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy having the most articles published.

    From a social media point of view, there were over a billion impressions, with an incredible performance specifically on TikTok and Facebook.

    The series is now fully focussed on delivering its second event at Lac Rose in Dakar, Senegal which takes place from 29-30 May.

    The action will be available in over 180 countries through more than 60 broadcasters including FoxSports in the USA and Asia, ITV, BBC, Sky Sports and BT Sport in the UK and Eurosport in Europe.

    After watching the first round of Extreme E, I thoroughly enjoyed the new racing and there certainly wasn’t any holding back, with a number of incidents in practice and qualifying, maybe none more spectacular than this collision.

    You can get the full details at

    To learn more about Extreme E, visit –

    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021


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