Formula E

Formula E on ice: Making a statement

Real cool fun: During the summer break in the Formula E season, Abt-Schaeffler Audi Sport driver Lucas Di Grassi went to the Arctic to test out his car in polar conditions. With the support of DHL, official logistics partner and a founding partner of Formula E, a spectacular showrun was staged in the north of Greenland, with a subtext of highlighting the issue of climate change.

Global warming is increasing dramatically. According to meteorologists, 2016 is set to become the hottest year since records began. Among the major causes of the rise in air pollution and of the concomitant climate change are the exhaust gases emitted by conventional internal combustion engines. In order to make a statement about this issue, the most innovative racing series in the world supported by its sponsors staged a demo on the ice that never melts.

“Naturally, we wanted to help them to achieve the next milestone, which was going to the ice,” says DHL’s Head of Sponsorships Sabrina Asendorf. “DHL is proud to be an active part of Formula E’s unique mission to inspire and engage a world audience about sustainable mobility solutions.”

DHL is a pioneer in delivering sustainability to the world. With its GoGreen program, the company has set the goal of improving its CO2 efficiency by 30 percent over the 13-year period from 2007 to 2020. So it will come as no surprise that the showrun in the Arctic was organized in as sustainable as possible with multimodal transport solutions.

The journey began in early August at Donington in the UK. From there, the electric-powered racing vehicle was transported by truck to Alborg in Denmark. The next stage of the expedition was by ship to Tasiilaq in Greenland before the car was flown in a special heavy-lift helicopter to its final destination, a remote slice of ice from a Greenland glacier. “DHL has played a key role in this project in the Arctic,” said Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag after the showrun. “Logistics were one of the main challenges to making this happen.”

Formula E championship runner-up Lucas di Grassi was equally enthusiastic about this unique event: “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.”

Logistics were one of the main challenges to making this happen!

Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag

Further support for the project was forthcoming from the Greenland government and from the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. HSH Prince Albert: “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 activities 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 COP22 which takes place in Marrakesh, Morocco, on 13 November 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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