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Extreme E: People behind Formula E plotting off-road spin off?


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#1 Vielleicht

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 21:31

Curious piece of reporting from e-racing365:
 

 

REVEALED: 'Extreme E' series proposed for 2020
Plan for 'Extreme E' series featuring all electric SUVs revealed in e-racing365 exclusive...
(https://e-racing365....posed-for-2020/)
 extremee1.jpg

 

Includes details like:

- Alejandro Agag is believed to be the key driving force behind the project

- off-road silhouette-style Rally-Raid SUV electric race cars

- destinations such as the Himalayas, Arctic Circle, Amazon rainforest and a remote island in the Indian Ocean.

- Possible formats such as world cup style group knockouts and innovative TV production using drones to film
 

 

E-racing365 contacted Formula E Holdings Ltd. regarding the plans and a spokesperson said: “We are working on an exciting and ground-breaking new project. More details will be announced in due course.”

 

Good idea? Bad idea? Pie in the sky or Agag's second miracle? I'm fascinated.



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#2 Vielleicht

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 21:35

 I'm fascinated.

So is Sam Smith.

 

sniffermedia @sniffermedia 3 hours ago

sniffermedia Retweeted e-racing365

I’ve worked on some stories in my time but this one is memorable/astounding. First heard rumours in June but didn’t really believe it. A lot of investigating later and remarkably it is being planned. Racing in the Himalayas! Agag is the Willy Wonka of sport! #ABBFormulaE

 

 



#3 maximilian

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 21:43

Sounds like they are about to tear up a bunch of landscapes with dozens of SUVs airlifted into the middle of nowhere under the guise of being "green".  I am unfascinated.  Stick to concrete jungle city racing.


Edited by maximilian, 27 August 2018 - 21:43.


#4 Ben1445

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 21:49

Well, I say fascinating. They'll have to be careful about exactly where they race though - Dakar Rally has faced issues surrounding disturbing delicate natural environments. 

 

Could work - but ​lots to sort out. 



#5 Vielleicht

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 21:54

Well, I say fascinating. They'll have to be careful about exactly where they race though - Dakar Rally has faced issues surrounding disturbing delicate natural environments. 

 

Could work - but ​lots to sort out. 

100% agree.



#6 JHSingo

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 22:10

 

- destinations such as the Himalayas, Arctic Circle, Amazon rainforest and a remote island in the Indian Ocean.

 

 

Yeah, right.  :lol:

 

I'll boldly make the prediction that they'll never be racing in those locations in a million years. 

 

If F1 still can't organise a race in downtown New York, what chances has Agag got in organising a race at any of those places? I'd say there's a heck of a lot of problems involved, and I bet an organisation like Greenpeace would play hell up if they ever got whiff of this. 


Edited by JHSingo, 27 August 2018 - 22:10.


#7 Ben1445

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 22:15

Rally-Raid events already exist in places similar to the proposed locations - Raid de Himalaya, Borneo Rally Raid, Russian Baja Northern Forest - so I expect it's possible. 

 

A quick note that I'd take a dim view of suggestions that these ICE events are allowed to exist but an EV version can't because of tings like transport not being green (yet). It's a double standard. 


Edited by Ben1445, 27 August 2018 - 22:16.


#8 Vielleicht

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 22:29

Here's that public record that the article refers to

 

https://beta.compani...ompany/11327724



#9 Ben1445

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Posted 28 August 2018 - 07:51

Here's a short video of some of the Raid de Himalaya 


Edited by Ben1445, 28 August 2018 - 07:51.


#10 loki

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Posted 28 August 2018 - 07:58

Someone is going to have to pay to have them built.  The batteries are going to need to be more robust to take the abuse of off road.  So you're at a rally raid in the middle of nowhere. How do you charge them?



#11 Ben1445

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Posted 28 August 2018 - 08:04

Someone is going to have to pay to have them built.  

This is touched on the article (more or less). 

 

So you're at a rally raid in the middle of nowhere. How do you charge them?

I'd imagine, considering it is supposed to be FEH behind this, they will make use of one of their glycerine generators. It's a much cleaner and lower net carbon source than a diesel generator or putting petrol in the cars. And say what you like about that, but for any normal rally raid in the middle of nowhere they're going to have to transport enough fuel there somehow, so there's little difference * (except cleaner).  so basically there's nothing about that that's insurmountable. 

 

* edit but - on second thoughts also considering the capacity to charge or at least supplement charging with deployed renewable options and it's all round better than lugging barrels of fuel up into the middle of nowhere. 


Edited by Ben1445, 28 August 2018 - 08:15.


#12 Vielleicht

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Posted 28 August 2018 - 09:52

I have no doubts that it would be possible to organise and run such events - I do wonder about the audiences though. Highly unlikely that they'll get anyone other than a very few hardy spectators trackside. The TV product will be key if something like this was going to gain followers.



#13 thegamer23

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Posted 28 August 2018 - 10:27

I have no doubts that it would be possible to organise and run such events - I do wonder about the audiences though. Highly unlikely that they'll get anyone other than a very few hardy spectators trackside. The TV product will be key if something like this was going to gain followers.

 

 

Imagine the first motor-race at the North Pole: i have no doubt that would be a worldwide event with stellar audience. This may be Agag's second miracle, if it's going to happen. 

 

Obviously, there won't be any trackside spectators on those extreme locations, but that's normal. It will be a huge TV production. 

 

 



#14 Nonesuch

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Posted 28 August 2018 - 10:53

Yeah, right.  :lol:

 

I'll boldly make the prediction that they'll never be racing in those locations in a million years.

 

That's certainly possible, but there's some precedence for some of these locations. The Amazon also covers an area larger than the entire European Union. Millions of people live there. You could have a rally there just fine. Which is what it would have to be since, well, you're not going to see those cars crushing through trees like some main battle tank.

 


#15 Vielleicht

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Posted 28 August 2018 - 11:19

Article references Formula E manufacturers being party to discussions over the series.

 

A number of them have SUV style EVs on market either already or soon. NIO have the ES8, Jaguar have the I-Pace, BMW is thought to have the iX3, Mercedes have an EQ SUV in the pipeline and Porsche have the Mission E: Cross Turismo concept.

 

Curious stuff.



#16 Risil

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Posted 28 August 2018 - 11:45

So is Sam Smith.

sniffermedia‏ @sniffermedia 3 hours ago
sniffermedia Retweeted e-racing365

I’ve worked on some stories in my time but this one is memorable/astounding. First heard rumours in June but didn’t really believe it. A lot of investigating later and remarkably it is being planned. Racing in the Himalayas! Agag is the Willy Wonka of sport! #ABBFormulaE

 

Nothing like tough-minded, sceptical journalism, eh.

 

Although Charlie and the Chocolate Factory would've been less good if Willy Wonka had just turned up at Charlie's house and promised him that he'd build a chocolate river, trained squirrels and a magical elevator but right now his factory only made Smarties.


#17 Pete_f1

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Posted 28 August 2018 - 11:47

I like the idea of a rally series using electric.

#18 Ben1445

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Posted 28 August 2018 - 11:58

I wouldn't call Agag the 'Willy Wonka of sport' for this considering racing in the Himalayas already exists, for example. He is, however, a shrewd businessman who seems t know in advance what might be a good idea. 



#19 loki

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Posted 28 August 2018 - 17:35

Article references Formula E manufacturers being party to discussions over the series.

 

A number of them have SUV style EVs on market either already or soon. NIO have the ES8, Jaguar have the I-Pace, BMW is thought to have the iX3, Mercedes have an EQ SUV in the pipeline and Porsche have the Mission E: Cross Turismo concept.

 

Curious stuff.

None of those are off road racing vehicles or even suited for any serious off road trail riding.  The vehicle dynamics are different.  The stresses on the components are different.  Functionally it needs to be more like a Land Rover or Jeep.  What it sounds like is an electric touring series that's using the locations as a backdrop for EV marketing.  My guess is it's more like WRX than WRC or rally raid.



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#20 Vielleicht

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Posted 28 August 2018 - 17:52

None of those are off road racing vehicles or even suited for any serious off road trail riding.  The vehicle dynamics are different.  The stresses on the components are different.  Functionally it needs to be more like a Land Rover or Jeep.  What it sounds like is an electric touring series that's using the locations as a backdrop for EV marketing.  My guess is it's more like WRX than WRC or rally raid.

You will notice the words 'Silhouette' in both the article and and the opening post. Pretty sure the plan is to have a custom off road chassis and then have the bodywork of said manufacturers SUV models.

 

I honestly can't tell at this point if it's going to be point to point or closed course. I guess we shall know more in time.



#21 BRG

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Posted 28 August 2018 - 19:12

I have no problems with this proposal, if that is what they want to do.  it is perfectly feasible.  But wouldn't it make more sense and more impact if they enter EVs into existing rally raids and took on the ICE vehicles head to head?  There was an EV entry on the last Dakar, I believe, which didn't do much, but from little acorns do mighty oaks grow.  A free standing electric series wouldn't impress me much with no benchmarks to judge it by.



#22 Ben1445

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Posted 28 August 2018 - 19:27

I have no problems with this proposal, if that is what they want to do.  it is perfectly feasible.  But wouldn't it make more sense and more impact if they enter EVs into existing rally raids and took on the ICE vehicles head to head?  There was an EV entry on the last Dakar, I believe, which didn't do much, but from little acorns do mighty oaks grow.  A free standing electric series wouldn't impress me much with no benchmarks to judge it by.

Fair points. I guess it depends on what perspective people plan on taking. I suspect FEH are more interested in the business of saying "This is what EVs can do" than they are in "This is what EVs can do compared to ICEVs". Some potential manufacturers/audience members/investors may think along those same lines or then again they may not. No harm in trying I guess. 

 

I mean there could always be this series and entries into existing rally raids, they don't have to be mutually exclusive - for all we know this proposed series might even help their development so they are more competitive in existing raid events. 



#23 Vielleicht

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Posted 28 August 2018 - 19:39

Given the completely different nature of EVs against ICEs and the need for a set of technical regulations, is it ever going to be a perfectly level playing field competing EVs and ICEs head to head? Any set of technical regulations/event format governing the two going head to head would could open up accusations of artificially favouring one over the other. LMP1 has already had enough trouble balancing up hybrid and non hybrid.



#24 Ben1445

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Posted 28 August 2018 - 19:45

 Any set of technical regulations/event format governing the two going head to head could open up accusations of artificially favouring one over the other. 

Damn, this is also a fair point.

 

I don't think there's a 'right' answer to this  :well: tempted to just say what will be will be. 



#25 Ben1445

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Posted 29 August 2018 - 14:49

Autosport/Motorsport has picked up on the story. 

 

https://www.autospor...-launch-with-fe

 

This time with actual quotes form Mr Agag: 

 

 

"Extreme E - all I can say is that it's a new project that will be operated by Formula E," Agag told Autosport.

 

"Formula E will take over the operation of that new project - the new project is still in very early stages.

 

 

"But hopefully Gil de Ferran, who is leading the project, will do an announcement soon with more details. But that's all I can say."

 

"SUV is the name of the game - that's where the big manufacturers are going and that's where I think this will be."


#26 Vielleicht

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Posted 29 August 2018 - 16:35

And to think Formula E nearly collapsed financially after it's third ever race.



#27 BRG

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Posted 29 August 2018 - 17:00

Given the completely different nature of EVs against ICEs and the need for a set of technical regulations, is it ever going to be a perfectly level playing field competing EVs and ICEs head to head? Any set of technical regulations/event format governing the two going head to head would could open up accusations of artificially favouring one over the other. LMP1 has already had enough trouble balancing up hybrid and non hybrid.

This is true of course, and it is why mixing E and ICE Vs on the track would be too difficult.  Although they will probably have to sooner or later.

 

But rallying and particualrly rally-raiding are much more open in regualtion terms.  They are used to having a range of classes covering NA and trubo and differing capacities.  Rally raids often mix 2wd buggies with 4wd SUVs, both production and highly modified, plus trucks and bikes.  The competition is more about navigation, reliability, strength and endurance, rather than power.  It shouldn't be hard to fit EVs into the mix. 



#28 Vielleicht

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Posted 29 August 2018 - 17:14

This is true of course, and it is why mixing E and ICE Vs on the track would be too difficult.  Although they will probably have to sooner or later.

 

But rallying and particualrly rally-raiding are much more open in regualtion terms.  They are used to having a range of classes covering NA and trubo and differing capacities.  Rally raids often mix 2wd buggies with 4wd SUVs, both production and highly modified, plus trucks and bikes.  The competition is more about navigation, reliability, strength and endurance, rather than power.  It shouldn't be hard to fit EVs into the mix. 

Well indeed I hope existing Rally/Raid competitions allow for the continued entry of EVs in the future, it would be a good place to do it. Where this 'Extreme E' series plans on positioning itself in that landscape (pun not intended) is their prerogative I guess.



#29 highdownforce

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Posted 29 August 2018 - 20:05

ev-rally-car-001.jpg

 

?



#30 Vielleicht

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Posted 31 August 2018 - 13:01

Sam Smith's opinion piece about the news: https://e-racing365....extreme-vision/



#31 Vielleicht

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Posted 03 October 2018 - 15:51

Agag: “Overwhelming” Interest in Extreme E Concept (https://e-racing365....reme-e-concept/)

 

 

“I think since the news came out it has been overwhelming and there has been huge interest. It will be the next big thing.”

 

“It is very, very challenging but I am 100 percent sure it is going to happen,” he said. “The whole machine of Formula E will be supporting it as it will be the operating partner.”

 

Sounds like the scope of FIA involvement will come at the WMSC and a formal launch sometime after that.



#32 Vielleicht

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 18:22

From Sam Smith's Friday Notebook from Marrakesh:

https://e-racing365....day-notebook-2/

 

 

***The proposed ‘‘Extreme E’ concept is expected to be officially communicated at an event in London on Jan. 31.

 

***E-racing365 understands that it will be logistically based on an ex-Royal Mail super-container ship. This is set to be present at the event on the River Thames next to HMS Belfast.

 

***Along with Alejandro Agag, the other founding father of Extreme E is 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner Gil de Ferran, who is currently sporting director of the McLaren Formula 1 team.

 

***It’s understood that de Ferran could be announced as chairman of the Extreme E initiative which he developed along with Agag at the beginning of last year. E-Racing believes that the intention is to start with an initial season in 2021. It’s also understood that the series will take the form of a post-production  TV series rather than carrying live coverage of the events.


Edited by Vielleicht, 11 January 2019 - 18:23.


#33 Muppetmad

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 18:29

You've got to hand it to him, Agag is ambitious. I'm intrigued to see where this goes (the need to be responsible in where one rallies goes without saying).



#34 Ben1445

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 18:37

I've been interpreting this idea as some sort of electric cross between WRC and Dakar. I don't know how accurate that is (?)

 

If I understand the plan correctly in that the 'paddock' will be mobile and based on a  container ship... that sounds insanely mad but also possibly genius-level cool in an airship carrier kind of way. If it is an old container ship though, you'd have to think they're retrofitting a bio-fuel power source conversion or something similar though. 

 

 

Agag: “Overwhelming” Interest in Extreme E Concept (https://e-racing365....reme-e-concept/)

 

How much has this concept, appearing in the background, affected eWRX? Proven EV series organisers vs the questionably-in-touch owners of WRX? 



#35 Ben1445

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 19:02

***E-racing365 understands that it will be logistically based on an ex-Royal Mail super-container ship. This is set to be present at the event on the River Thames next to HMS Belfast.

Been looking into this. I think it's RMS St Helena, which was sold from Royal Mail service in early 2018 to become the MNG Tahiti but by October was apparently resold and renamed the St Helena and is currently in Portland, UK. Can't find data on the current owner but if it's Stromboli Shipping then it's almost definitely the one - that's the new (August 2018) shipping company Agag is a named director of. 



#36 PeterScandlyn

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 04:02

Looking forward to this as NATIONAL rescue teams are deployed to pick up some over ambitious fool.... :o



#37 PayasYouRace

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 09:08

Off road stuff isn't really my thing but I am intrigued by the idea. FE has established itself now showing that electric racing can not only be feasible but practical and successful. I suppose the next step would be to show what electric vehicles can do away from cities.



#38 Ben1445

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 10:22

I would imagine Peugeot would be a potential entrant for this? They've been in Dakar after all and left WRX because eWRX wasn't coming fast enough for their tastes and they lost faith in it's leadership. Extreme E concept appears with proven leadership, wouldn't be surprised if it affected their decisions there. 

 

Reporting has also said that current FE manufacturers are interested. Would likely be those with eSUVs on sale or in the pipeline... so perhaps Audi, NIO, BMW ? 



#39 Vielleicht

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Posted 17 January 2019 - 08:23

Agag talks directly about Extreme E in here.
https://www.racefans...alejandro-agag/
 
Seems to confirm the January 31st launch event in London involving the *ahem* RMS St Helena as a kind of multi purpose transport/freight/hotel vehicle for the series.
st-helena-c2a9-peter-van-den-berg.jpg?w=
 

“There will be no live broadcasting at all [for Extreme E]. It’s a new concept, it’s called ‘docusport’. And we film everything, we edit the races, ten episodes, and it’s a Netflix-style.”

Interesting


Edited by Vielleicht, 17 January 2019 - 08:27.


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#40 BRG

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Posted 17 January 2019 - 18:54

If they are using the St Helena as a base, presumably the events won't stray very far from the coast.  Unless they have VERY long charging leads.



#41 Vielleicht

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Posted 17 January 2019 - 19:22

If they are using the St Helena as a base, presumably the events won't stray very far from the coast.  Unless they have VERY long charging leads.

I was thinking the same. It's a reasonable assumption to make, unless they have something up their sleeves.


Edited by Vielleicht, 17 January 2019 - 19:23.


#42 Ben1445

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Posted 17 January 2019 - 20:32

Seems to confirm the January 31st launch event in London involving the *ahem* RMS St Helena as a kind of multi purpose transport/freight/hotel vehicle for the series.

:cool:

 

If they are using the St Helena as a base, presumably the events won't stray very far from the coast.  Unless they have VERY long charging leads.

https://www.motortre...rging-stations/

 

I mean, VW also brought took some charging units out on a lorry to Pikes Peak when they did their record breaking run there. I m sure with clever enough logistics longer routes can be planned. Getting some mobile chargers out to set waypoints at the beginning end end of stages can't be all that different from taking out barrels of fuel in advance, right? This is of course, assuming they are doing a traditional rally-raid format of some kind, which there's zero guarantee they are. 



#43 BRG

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Posted 18 January 2019 - 19:18

I am glad that the good old St Helena will get some more use.  She has trundled around the S. Atlantic for 25 years or so, the only source of supply for the island of St H.  She was deemed to be reaching the end of her useful life (but this sort of useage will be fine, just not continuous scheduled services) and it was either build another or build an airport on the island.  Thankfully, the airport faction (of which I was one for years) won out and you can now fly to St Helena.

 

I am somewhat sceptical about the E-rally-raid concept though.  I wonder if it is trying to ballroom dance when you have barely learnt to walk. Rally-raids are supposed to be lengthy events (300-400+kms a day competitive) over rough, challenging and remote terrain.  I am not sure if EVs could cope with that unless the format was seriuosly dumbed-down.  But as that has already happened to the Dakar, perhaps I am living in the past (again).   Mind you, I always liked Jethro Tull.

 

But let us see if (a) anything comes of this at all, and (b) if it does, what it looks like.  Then we can make up our minds.