Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button will both be involved in Electric E. And the latter has now opened up on their rivalry within the sport. He’s spent two days in the Welsh Valleys, test driving a 100 per cent electric SUV.
Button will drive the 550 horse-power electric SUV in the Extreme-E races event starting in April.
And the 41-year-old has now opened up on his decision to get involved, while also admitting he was relishing going up against team owners Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
“We’re racing in five different locations around the world,” he told Sky News.
“All locations that have been affected by climate change and it’s about bringing awareness.
“There are a lot of personalities in the sport in terms of the drivers and also the team owners.
“Nico Rosberg’s got a team, Lewis Hamilton’s got a team, Ganassi from the States – there are some big teams racing and this brings a lot of awareness to those areas we’re racing in.”
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The new electric vehicle is rather intriguing.
Known as the Odyssey 21, it can reach 62mph in 4.5 seconds.
However, at 1.6 tonnes, it weights more than double a Formula One car.
It will be charged using hydrogen fuel, generated from water and solar energy and Button has admitted it’s ‘weird’ as a result.
“It’s weird to call it a car – because it goes off-road, over big jumps, goes through anything basically – it’s more of a buggy,” he said.
“It’s all electric, all-wheel drive and, as I’ve found in the last day or so, it’s a lot of fun.”
Meanwhile, Hamilton himself opened up on his decision to get involved in Electric E back in December.
“What brought my attention to extreme E is the great place it’s going to go to,” he told BBC Radio 4.
“And raising attention to the real climate issues.
“We’ve got some challenges ahead of us, the direction we are going as a human race is not good.”
Upon announcing the creation of his team X44 in September, the Stevenage-born driver admitted he was eager to make a difference to our planet.
Yet he also insisted that F1 was still his main priority, with the Brit primed to adopt a back-seat role.
“Extreme E is an exciting new sustainability initiative, and this is a great opportunity to be involved from the outset as a team founder,” he said.
“Of course, my ambitions and commitments with Mercedes in Formula One mean that I won’t be operationally involved in X44.
“But I’m excited to play a different role in this new series, one that brings my vision for a more sustainable and equal world to life.
“Extreme E really appealed to me because of its environmental focus.
“Every single one of us has the power to make a difference, and it means so much to me that I can use my love of racing, together with my love for our planet, to have a positive impact.
“Not only will we visit remote locations facing the front line of the climate crisis, we will also work closely with these locations and leading climate experts to share our knowledge and leave behind a positive legacy in each location which goes far beyond the race track.
“As Founder of X44, I am looking forward to building my team around important values such as sustainability and equality.
“None of us are perfect and we all have improvements to make, but I am excited to use our platform to highlight the most serious issues facing our planet and the solutions we can all be part of.”