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Extreme E: Tires, electricity, logistics: how sustainable is Extreme E?

Will it be the next loss for Lewis Hamilton? His former nemesis Nico Rosberg (36) is fighting this Sunday as the owner of Rosberg X Racing against Hamilton’s X44 for the title in Extreme E. But the big winner should be the environment. The series by Formula E founder Alejandro Agag is racing against climate change and wants to create awareness for the wounds of the planet.

But how sustainable is the series itself? We do the check:

Solar modules first produce electricity in order to split water into oxygen and hydrogen.

The cars: In Extreme E, electric SUVs with a maximum of 544 hp race through the terrain. The highlight: The energy is generated on site from sunlight and fuel cells. Solar modules first produce electricity in order to split water into oxygen and hydrogen. This, in turn, is converted into enough energy in a giant portable fuel cell to power the cars. The system is manufactured by the British company AFC Energy. In this way, 480 kW of energy can be generated in 24 hours.

“We produce the electricity by electrolysis with solar energy,” says its CEO Adam Bond. “Not only is the fuel cell emission-free, but also the production of the hydrogen.” Another advantage: Because the hydrogen is produced on site, it is not necessary to transport the explosive gas. Why not use solar energy right away? “Then every team would need a huge solar module – with our system we can charge the cars centrally,” says Extreme E manager Andy Welsh.
The tires: The black gold of the Extreme E is based on the CrossContact off-road tire. “Due to the sustainability concept of Extreme E, we had to build a tire for five different locations – with very different surfaces: deep sand, rocks, water,” explains Catarina Silva, Continental project manager for Extreme E. “There are also very different external surfaces Conditions: Sometimes there is scorching heat, sometimes freezing cold. ”

The black gold of the Extreme E is based on the CrossContact off-road tire.

Six tires are available per car and race. All rubbers were produced before the season started and stored on the Extreme-E-ship St. Helena. “That means we had our first major test in Saudi Arabia when all the tires were already loaded,” explains Catarina Silva. “Fortunately, we did everything right and didn’t need any subsequent changes.”

The sheer size of the black rollers alone is impressive. The data: 34 kilograms each, 37 inches in diameter, 31.75 inches in width, 13.9 millimeters in tread depth. Catarina Silva: “It’s a mixture of truck and SUV tires because the vehicle weighs 1650 kilos. We have also developed a special compound and profile so that we have enough grip, traction and durability for every temperature and every surface. “

A car covers an average of 70-100 kilometers per race weekend. The tires still look like new afterwards. “At the Dakar, a team needs more tires for a race than we do for a whole championship,” calculates Catarina Silva.

At every race, Extreme E supports local projects to combat climate change.

The sustainability program: At every race, Extreme E supports local projects to combat climate change. The top theme at the finals in southern England is the extinction of species on the British island. “We help with the resettlement of Biebern”, explains Abt-Cupra driver Jutta Kleinschmidt: “Together with other drivers we built a first new home for them in the forest.” Most recently in Sardinia we helped families who lost everything in forest fires to have. Kleinschmidt: “We did some great things, but Greenland was outstanding for me. It was both impressive and terrifying to see the ice melt away. It is therefore good that we are also drawing attention to this with motorsport. “

The transport: Instead of trucks and airplanes, the racing cars are transported around the world on the St. Helena, a converted mail ship. It continues to run on diesel, but has been equipped and modernized as environmentally friendly as possible. The St. Helena is the floating paddock of Extreme E.

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