Prodrive, who are creators of innovative engineering solutions for motorsport, are partnering with Extreme E electric car race team X44 run by Lewis Hamilton. The world-leading motorsport business has over 15 years of experience in developing electric car and vehicle technologies. Prodrive also helped to develop the zero-emissions Volta 16-tonne truck and the hybrid Ford Transit.
Prodrive is partnering with X44 to run the team at each round of the gender-equal five-race series. The off-road all-electric race series was designed to create environmental awareness in vulnerable locations and promote the use of zero-emissions cars and vehicles.
Each event involves teams of male and female drivers driving identical 550-brake horsepower electric sports utility vehicles. The races take place over two laps, known as an X Prix, ensuring a completely level playing field amongst competitors.
Each X-Prix race weekend will include two days of action with short, sharp wheel-to-wheel racing, with world-class drivers and nine teams. Along with Hamilton’s team, there are also teams from former Forumla-1 champions Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg.
Prodrive-contracted drivers include Sébastien Loeb, nine-time winner of the World Rally Championships, and fellow Dakar competitor, Cristina Gutiérrez, who in the 2017 Dakar Rally became the first Spanish female driver to finish the race in the car category.
The duo will be competing in the X44 ODYSSEY 21. This bespoke electric sports utility vehicle is capable of producing 400 kW (550 brake horsepower) and can accelerate from 0-62mph (0-100 kph) in just 4.5 seconds.
X44 will take its followers on a journey of discovery designed to show first-hand how human actions are damaging the planet. The five locations of the race series will highlight a variety of serious climate issues including melting ice caps in Greenland, deforestation in Brazil and rising sea levels in Senegal.
David Richards, Prodrive chairman and founder, said: “Extreme E is such an exciting and unique concept and I have been fascinated by the project ever since Alejandro launched it almost two years ago. When Lewis then announced his interest in a team it was a great opportunity for Prodrive to help him realise his personal ambitions from the series.”
The inaugural Extreme E event takes place this weekend April 3/4 in Alula, Saudi Arabia. This area has seen water availability decrease by 10-30 percent, meaning 2.4 billion people across the world will be living in areas subject to periods of intense water scarcity, displacing as many as 700 million people. Challenges exacerbated by climate change in the desert include water scarcity and potentially millions of climate refugees.