Electric SUVS are ready to compete in a double event on the Island
Two Island X Grand Prix events (July 6-7 and 9-10 2022) mark the return to Sardinia of the Extreme E championship, the renowned Eco-Rally conceived by Alejandro Agag, a prominent figure in Formula E. The event was created to draw public attention to the environmental risks faced by our planet and to encourage sustainability in energy policy, but without neglecting the fun aspect of rally driving. Moreover, the competition involves some prominent motorsport names, such as rally legends Sébastien Loeb and Carlos Sainz Sr., and there are plenty of fascinating technical details. These include the role of Enel X Way as Official Smart Charging Partner, i.e., official provider of charging infrastructure for the competing vehicles, which are all fully electric SUVs.
Electric SUVs on the racetrack
Now in its second season, this thrilling series involves ten teams. The powerful electric SUVs in the competition will be driven by a total of 20 drivers, in accordance with the competition’s gender rules. The cockpit of the Spark Odyssey 21 will be occupied by a man and a woman, who will compete in a breathtaking double race.
The high-wheeled vehicles are manufactured by Williams Advanced Technology (although the linen fiber bodywork can be customized by the teams) with two 340 CV electric units each, giving peak power of 550 CV and maximum torque of 920 Nm, delivered by a 40 kWh battery. Performance is exceptional (the cars can go from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds), as is the ability to handle gradients of 130%, thereby guaranteeing a thrilling race.
Two electrifying dates
So, the forecast is for an electrifying weekend of racing, following on from the success of the previous Island X Grand Prix, which took place in 2021. The events scheduled for July 6-7 and 9-10 have had quite a build-up and, like last year, will be held at the Capo Teulada military base. The challenge promises to be even more compelling because of the sweltering weather forecast for the race days, which is likely to influence conditions on the ground. A relevant detail about last year's series: due to the harshness of the terrain, just two of the five cars in the final managed to complete the course.
Where you can see the races
The qualifying heats will take place on the first day of each event (Wednesday 6 and Saturday 9 July) at 10.15 a.m., with further heats at 4.15 p.m. and 4.50 p.m. On the second day (Thursday 7 and Sunday 10 July), the vehicles will compete either in the two semi-finals at 11.10 a.m. and 11.40 a.m., or the Crazy Race at 12.10 p.m. It depends on the mid-event classification, which does not affect the championship results. The winner of the Crazy Race and the first two in the semi-finals will compete in the Final Race at 3.30 p.m., to decide the winner of the series.
This thrilling twin event can be watched on TV and online. Specifically, the qualifiers on Sportmediaset.it and the Extreme E (and Enel X Way) digital and social channels, and the finals on Canale 20, DAZN and sportmediaset.it.
A truly sustainable competition
Global warming and other environmental issues of our age - related and unrelated - are at the very heart of this new motorsport discipline. Indeed, this is a clear example of how electric mobility can be the driver of investment geared to avoiding further consequences of the ongoing climate catastrophe. It is no coincidence that sustainability is at the center of this project, with practical measures implemented during the racing itself. One example is the electricity generators serving the paddocks, which use second life batteries, i.e., those which are no longer suitable for their original purpose, but are reused for less complex applications such as energy storage for indoor spaces. Furthermore, none of the infrastructure used will remain on site at the end of each event, nor will any traces be left, starting with waste. What's more, in order to minimize environmental impact, all vehicles and structures used for the various races will be transported by the St. Elena, a ship that has been completely reconditioned with technologies that make it more efficient and environmentally friendly.
Our charging infrastructure for Extreme E
The water used to clean the vehicles is worth mentioning; it is a by-product of the hydrogen generator that supplies electric power. That's right: the energy for the electric vehicles comes from a sustainable process that uses water and sunlight to produce hydrogen, which is collected in fuel cells. These feed the charging stations provided by us for the electric vehicles, namely the JuicePump 50 Race Edition, thereby guaranteeing energy from 100% renewable sources at all stages of the championship.
And in Sardinia we will be using our new 50 kW charging stations for the first time. They were developed and fine-tuned directly by our team of engineers, who will also be on hand to provide support and assistance to all the racing teams.
More than just a race: Legacy projects in Sardinia
Holding the series in Sardinia will benefit this large Mediterranean island with a program of initiatives designed for the region, as part of the Extreme E championship’s Legacy projects. These initiatives, which were announced at the 2021 Island X Grand Prix, include the "Green Carbon" project. This is based on "green" carbon, which is absorbed by the Earth's plants. Specifically, during the previous edition of the series, we worked to restore the ancient olive groves of Sennariolo (near Oristano), which were affected by major fires that destroyed over 20,000 hectares of land; this program is ongoing.
In addition to heading a fire-prevention campaign in local communities, this year the organization is launching the "Blue Carbon" project in collaboration with the MEDSEA Foundation. As the name suggests, it focuses on "blue" carbon which is absorbed by marine vegetation. The term blue carbon refers specifically to the organic carbon captured and stored by the world's oceans and coastal ecosystems, particularly the plant-based variety. In the Mediterranean, the conservation of the meadows of Posidonia oceanica, “or Neptune grass,” is a national and international priority. Coastal ecosystems and inland forests make a considerable contribution to the capture of organic carbon, mitigating climate change and providing collateral benefits such as protection of the coastline and improvement in fishing practices.
Extreme E also collaborates with the MEDSEA Foundation on a Posidonia (or Neptune grass) restoration project, which involves the identification, analysis and replanting of marine phanerograms in a deteriorating area of the Sardinian coast. Known as the "ocean's rainforest" and named after Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea (Neptune in Latin), this seaweed lives in shallow sheltered waters around our coast, and is essential for the health of our oceans. The species accounts for 10% of the sea's capacity to store "blue" carbon, despite occupying just 0.2% of the seabed. It can capture atmospheric carbon up to 35 times faster than tropical rainforests. For the Island X Grand Prix 2022, the area in question is near Domus de Maria/Chia, within 30 km of the competition venue.
Enel X Way in Sardinia, supporting electric mobility
But the commitment of Enel X Way to Sardinia does not end there: in collaboration with Confartigianato Sardegna (the Sardinian artisans’ association), Enel X Way Italia is helping companies on the island to take advantage of the new contracts available to Sardinian businesses for the installation of new fast charging columns. More specifically, companies located on arterial roads or in industrial zones can benefit from 75% non-repayable funding for the supply of energy from 100% renewable sources, accessible 24/7. For our part, our company offers interested parties the JuicePump 75 kWh Trio charging column, with a package that includes installation and maintenance alongside remuneration calculated on the basis of electricity delivered through the columns.