China / Sports

Formula E EV warms to task of raising climate change awareness

By China Daily (China Daily) Updated: 2016-09-16 09:54

The FIA Formula E Championship, the world's first fully-electric racing series, has once again broken new ground by running one of its all-electric racing cars on the Arctic ice cap.

With the planet experiencing the warmest year on record, more sea ice has broken away from the Arctic than ever before. To raise awareness of this crucial and pressing issue, Formula E joined forces with Julius Baer, Visa, DHL, Schaeffler, The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and Mumm Champagne House to bring this spectacular event to life. The zero-emission racer was driven on the ice cap by adventurous race-winning Formula E driver, Lucas di Grassi.

The Brazilian, who will be seeking to go one better than his runner-up position in the season two championship when the series returns with the HKT Hong Kong ePrix on Oct 9, performed a series of jaw-dropping runs on the ice cap, inside the Arctic circle to the north of Greenland.

The stunning exhibition is a continuation of Formula E's commitment to showcasing how electric car technology can be a key part of a more sustainable future, and play a vital role in tackling climate change.

Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag said: "I have four children and the future of the planet depends on how we can control the effect that human life is having on the environment and the climate. That is why I think climate change is very important to address, to control, to face, and everyone can do something. We do something for motorsport, other people can do something from whatever they do in their lives."

Formula E vice-champion Lucas di Grassi said: "It was such a beautiful, peaceful place. To come here and see how huge the ice cap is and how the effect of global warming is changing it, melting it, gives me a completely different understanding of what we are doing with Formula E and the importance of driving electric cars."

The event was only made possible by the cooperation of and assistance from the Greenland government and its desire to raise awareness of a need for action on climate change. In order to learn more about the effects of the melting ice cap, Formula E has teamed up with Southampton University in the UK, and during the trip a tracking beacon was placed upon an iceberg that had broken away from the ice sheet.

This will help to advance research into the behavior of these ice sheets in the open ocean, and the tracking device will allow both climate scientists and the general public to understand more about the graceful journey they undertake as they return to the sea.

HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco said: "I fully support the bold and ambitious activity that Formula E has undertaken as a way of raising awareness of the effect climate change is having on the ice cap in Greenland. My Foundation recognizes the role that electric vehicles can play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and believes that Formula E can inspire a new generation of motorists and potential motorists to 'drive electric' and help in the fight against global warming through high-profile activations (sic) like this."

A special 48-minute documentary looking at every aspect of how the event was put together has been commissioned and will be premiered at the sustainable innovation forum COP22, which will take place in Marrakesh, Morocco on Nov 13 this year. Formula E will also be in the North African country at the same time for the inaugural Marrakesh ePrix.


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