Extreme E Legacy programme
One of the philosophies of the Extreme E electric racing series is to produce as little impact as possible on each of the locations where the races are held with electric cars and a small team. But in fact, they are leaving a substantial positive mark on each place they visit. They do so thanks to the Extreme E Legacy programme in which, together with local organisations, they seek to regenerate the negative effects of climate change in these areas.
Their latest contribution was in the desert of Antofagasta, Chile, where the ABT CUPRA XE team drivers assisted in the reintroduction of an endangered species into the environment. “We saw how rising temperatures are affecting very different habitats, and how it impacts the ecosystem. Every action we take is important, no matter how small” says ABT CUPRA XE driver Nasser Al-Attiyah as he takes part in the Copper X Prix pre-race project. Jutta Kleinschmidt adds “I’ve been racing for more than 30 years and this is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to do something like this for the planet.”
The most extreme locations. Last season they planted more than a million mangroves along the coast of Senegal, contributed to the preservation of turtles in Saudi Arabia and replanted trees on more than 100 hectares in the Amazon. This season they’re continuing with the same philosophy, explains Dr. Francisco Oliveira, the scientist in charge of Extreme E Legacy in the Amazon: “There is no planet B, this is the only one we have and we must learn to protect it in the most sustainable way. Thanks to this competition, the organisation and the drivers as ambassadors, we have the opportunity to show this to the world of sport.”
“Promoting sustainability through motorsport, in an electric competition that values gender equality are beliefs that we share at CUPRA and for which we’ve been part of Extreme E since the beginning of the project” adds CUPRA Racing director Xavi Serra.
Restoring habitats. On their most recent trip, Extreme E teams saw the effects of the mining industry on the ecosystem of Antofagasta in northern Chile. Dozens of native frog species are in danger of extinction because of the leach residue that seeps into the water during the mining process. “Frogs are global health indicators from a biodiversity perspective. Their skin is permeable skin and very sensitive to pollution so if the water quality is not optimal, they cannot survive” explains Julia Wall-Clarke, Extreme E’s impact and communications manager. Thanks to Extreme E Legacy’s collaboration with the Museum of Natural History and Culture of the Atacama Desert and the National Zoo of Santiago, more than 800 frogs will be reintroduced into the ecosystem in the coming months.
Together for the planet. The ABT CUPRA XE drivers, together with their colleagues from other teams, have collaborated on every project. “It’s very important for us that they get involved in our projects and understand the environments we’re working in. And they do it with great enthusiasm and energy” says Extreme E Legacy Operations Manager Geordie Stewart. For Nasser Al-Attiyah, “the message we’re sending to the world with these actions is very meaningful.”
The next action they’re taking part in will be during the competition in Punta del Este, Uruguay, on November 26-27th where they’ll bring the second season to a close by making their mark in the race around the planet.