A new electric series called 'Extreme E' has been launched on board RMS St Helena in London in a bid to highlight the impact of climate change on ecosystems around the world.
The first event is scheduled to take place in January 2021 and will feature performance electric-powered SUVs.
Two-time Indycar champion Gil de Ferran will be the chairman of Extreme E while Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag is also involved in the series.
De Ferran said: "This is a hugely exciting project. Extreme E offers a unique sport, adventure, and entertainment concept that has never been seen or done before. Viewers can expect a completely new way of consuming sport, with each episode telling not just the story of a race, but the wider race of awareness and the need to protect these remote and challenging environments being explored by Extreme E.”
The series will visit areas of natural beauty at risk of the effects of climate change such as the Arctic, tropical rainforest, Himalayan mountains, islands in the Indian Ocean ,and Sahara desert.
Extreme E will be a 'docu-sport' series produced by Academy Award winner Fisher Stevens, who will also take on the role of artistic director.
“Electric racing has become a passion for me, having worked alongside Leonardo Di Caprio toc reate a new documentary film to be released later this year on season four of Formula E, which tells not only the story of race car drivers - but also the story of how electric motorsport can have a pivotal role in helping us battle climate change," said Stevens. "I’m therefore delighted to become the Artistic Director of Extreme E, and I think this revolutionary concept can both continue the fight against climate change and help set new standards in how not only motorsport, but all sports can be broadcast."
Each event will be a series of head-to-head events where drivers race side-by-side across stages approximately five miles long. It will not be a rally-style event.
RMS St Helena will transport all the equipment for the series, with the former Royal Mail ship to be modernised to include more renewable energy technologies.
Agag said: “I’ve always been passionate about progressing electric vehicle technology and the impact that clean mobility solutions can have on the efforts to halt global climate change. I strongly believe that Extreme E can help make the world more sustainable faster, and we have a dream team to make this ambition a reality."
David de Rothschild, who in 2006 became the youngest Brit to reach both geographical poles, will also be involved in Extreme E as chief explorer.