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REVEALED: ‘Extreme E’ Series Proposed for 2020

Plans for ‘Extreme E’ series featuring all-electric SUVs revealed in e-racing365 exclusive…

Photo: Team Peugeot Total

Plans are being put into place for a new international all-electric championship that would visit some of the world’s most extreme climates.

E-racing365 has uncovered details on the proposed ‘Extreme E Electric World Challenge’ aimed for off-road silhouette-style SUV electric race cars that would race in iconic locales around the world.

The proposal, seen by a small circle of potential entrants including current Formula E manufacturers, includes destinations such as the Himalayas, Arctic Circle, Amazon rainforest and a remote island in the Indian Ocean.

ABB FIA Formula E Championship founder and CEO Alejandro Agag is believed to be the key driving force behind the project, along with McLaren sporting director Gil de Ferran.

The proposed championship could launch as early as December 2020.

E-racing365 contacted Formula E Holdings Ltd. regarding the plans and a spokesperson said: “We are working on an exciting and ground-breaking new project. More details will be announced in due course.”

While specific details remain scarce at this point, public records confirm that Virgin Racing non-executive director Hazel Hutchinson is listed as the sole officer for the newly created ‘Extreme E’ company, which was founded in April.

Virgin Racing sold a majority stake in its business to Chinese company Envision Energy earlier this year.

Dual-Motor Battery SUVs Planned

The concept is believed to center around a rally raid-style off-road SUV car that would utilize existing Formula E motors, potentially provided by McLaren Applied Technologies.

A fully completed prototype car is believed to be targeted for April, followed by an intensive testing and development period building up to its debut in late 2020.

The calendar is understood to run from December to August, in similar format to Formula E.

E-racing365 also understands that an initial race format could center around a FIFA World Cup-style group knockout phase for teams and drivers, along with an innovative TV production and broadcast plan that would see races filmed by drones.

Formula E manufacturers are believed to have been offered slots in the proposed series for an entry cost of €3 million ($3.5 million).

Operating costs, meanwhile, are estimated to be around €4 million ($4.6 million) per season, with an initial deadline for expressions of interest believed to be set for early next month.

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. NaBUru38

    August 27, 2018 at 8:21 am

    Sounds interesting. I wonder if it will be short course or rally raid.

    • Rus'L

      August 27, 2018 at 9:58 am

      Would the cars be able to hold enough charge to do an all out rally raid?

      • Alex Pawlowski

        August 27, 2018 at 1:20 pm

        Acciona finished Dakar last year (all-electric). Competed in the previous two years (but didn’t finish). The marathon stages make it a little more challenging, but otherwise the short stages each day they’re able to make it + recharge.

        • Slicks in the wet

          August 27, 2018 at 10:32 pm

          Well…most stages are well over 200km, usually two or three times that including transit sections.

          Was able to find:
          “In race conditions the car can do 200km on a full charge.
          Service trucks are positioned on route to provide a recharge of 85% in 1h.”

          In particular, Stage 6 was 527km (327 miles).

          “They apparently had three trucks carrying serious gensets, running biodiesel.”

          So I mean…
          They finished dead–last tens of hours behind, with a bunch of quick charge battery support, and energy from biodiesel (eh..better than diesel diesel).

          It isn’t REALLY much of a win for electric.

          • krisg

            August 28, 2018 at 11:35 am

            By 2020 EVs will have range of 600 miles between charges. The new Tesla Roadster 2 is promising 620 miles by the end of 2019. Battery tech is advancing so fast that by 2020 pretty much a Dakar Rally style for Electric SUVs will be a real proposition…

          • Rus'L

            August 28, 2018 at 3:01 pm

            Thanks for all that info guys.

  2. PTR

    August 27, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    Very interesting concept. This sounds more like a concept for a video game than real life racing series. That’s lucrative if you ask me – video games are setting the expectations for motorsport in the eyes of the younger generations I think.

    • Slicks in the wet

      August 27, 2018 at 10:34 pm

      I don’t think anything is in the eyes of younger generations.

      -signed, member of younger generation who has zero friends interested in any of this

      • krisg

        August 28, 2018 at 11:38 am

        young generation aren’t interested in cars because they simply cannot afford them – own a car became too expensive last decades.
        In the long run EVs do promise to be cheaper to produce and keep running so maybe younger generations from 30 years from now will get interested in cars again because will be possible for them to buy and keep one running. We have to wait and see.

  3. Chris

    August 28, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    I don’t know. I think I’d be more interested in a full EV Dakar, which should be doable in the next few years. Adding more and more championships rather than converting existing ones I don’t think is the right solution overall, because it fractures motorsport too much, or puts the future of existing championships in doubt, which would be unfortunate. But it does have one key advantage in that you instantly create the right culture of embracing the change. Whereas in the long established series, there’s so much resistance to change and it will take forever to break through that.

    Maybe we have to accept that many of the current championships will not act fast enough and will kill themselves off, and just get on with creating the next generation of motorsport, because they won’t.

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