EXTREME E: the adventure where less is more

Posted by  Patti Kresner   in       4 months ago     110 Views     Comments Off on EXTREME E: the adventure where less is more  

“No doubt a lot of people are thinking: this isn’t Formula 1! No, it’s not. It’s nowhere close but learning to live with less is a big challenge.” For Mattias Ekström, official male driver of the ABT CUPRA XE team, the Extreme E Series has changed his perspective on many things. Here, the CUPRA e-ambassador shows us how he’s getting on in this electric Odyssey- a competition that highlights the importance of sustainability, electrification and equality.

Making full use of the paddock. All the teams participating in Extreme E have a paddock of the same size. It’s an inflatable shelter in which every nook and cranny is used to get the most out of the space. “It’s like a tent and that’s all the space we’re given. The car’s very big, measuring 2.20 metres wide, so you have to make the most of every square millimetre. When you look at the floor you can see a cooling fan, the fire extinguisher, the protections… everything the mechanics need. It may look chaotic, but it isn’t. It’s an organised chaos” says the driver.

A small team. One engineer, one team manager, four mechanics and two drivers. This is the human component that makes up the ABT CUPRA XE team. This is a far cry from the numbers that are found in other competitions. But in the two races already completed, in Saudi Arabia and Senegal, they’ve proven that they’re more than enough. “When necessary, the whole team helps, even the drivers. Every hand counts” explains Ekström.

Backstage. The secrets are in the rear: the charger, essential for 100% electric cars, and refrigerators to cool the batteries so they can be recharged more quickly. Also, a space where all the race’s strategic decisions are made. Right next to it, Ekström jokes, is the most peculiar space: “The most romantic place is this one metre by one metre black booth. This is where I get changed, it’s a real treat” says the CUPRA e-ambassador with a smile.

A thought-provoking adventure. This experience goes far beyond car racing. The main goal is to make the world aware of the need to achieve a more sustainable planet. For this reason, there’s no public on hand, which reduces the environmental footprint at each location. After completing races in both the Saudi Arabian desert and near Senegal’s Lac Rose, the next race will take place in Greenland on August 29th and 30th. “This is also what Extreme E is all about, trying to make people aware that we need to take better care of the environment and to do that, we need to learn how to be happy with less” concludes Mattias Ekström.