The test drive was organised ahead of COP 26, which takes place in Glasgow later this year, as The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are visiting innovative projects in Scotland which aim to positively turn the dial on the climate emergency during Lord High Commissioner’s Week.
As well as understanding more about the series’ electrification, environment and equality background, the visit provided an opportunity for Prince William to take a look at Extreme E’s hydrogen fuel cell – created in collaboration with British-based AFC Energy – which charges its electric race fleet using zero-emission energy.
Prince William was hosted by Extreme E CEO and Founder Alejandro Agag, a driving force behind the electric motorsport revolution, Adam Bond, CEO of AFC Energy, along with members of two of Extreme E’s British teams; George Imafidon, a Junior Engineer on Lewis Hamilton’s X44 team; and driver Catie Munnings, who races for the Andretti United team, who was on hand to show the Prince how to get the best out of the series’ electric race vehicle.
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E said: “It was a great honour for Extreme E to host Prince William at Knockhill today. It was a fantastic opportunity for us to show him the ways in which we are working towards the same shared goals around a lower carbon future for our planet. I think he really enjoyed his experience behind the wheel of the ODYSSEY 21, under the expert instruction of Catie. Perhaps a guest racing appearance in Extreme E beckons in the future!”
Catie Munnings, who competes for the Andretti United Extreme E team, which finished on the podium in last month’s Desert X Prix, said: “Today will certainly be one of those days that I won’t forget in a hurry! It was an absolute honour to meet The Duke of Cambridge and to teach him about the ODYSSEY 21 and some of the key attributes of these incredible machines. Prince William grasped the basic skills quickly and seemed very at ease with driving electric vehicles, maybe my Andretti United team-mate Timmy [Hansen] should be feeling a little threatened!”
George Imafidon is a Junior Engineer for Sir Lewis Hamilton’s Extreme E team, X44, and a Commissioner on The Hamilton Commission, a standalone research project set up last year by the Seven Time Formula One World Champion in partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering, that is working to improve the representation of Black people in UK motorsport.
George Imafidon said: “It was an honour to be at the event today and to meet His Royal Highness Prince William. As a recent engineering graduate myself, it’s incredible to see how the motorsport world is responding to the climate crisis, something my generation in particular cares deeply about. To have His Royal Highness here today just shows the ambition of Extreme E in making a positive difference to the planet, and I’m incredibly proud to be a part of it through my team, X44.”
The Ocean X Prix –the second event in Extreme E’s inaugural season takes place next weekend (29-30 May) at Lac Rose in Dakar, Senegal and is available to watch through a variety of global broadcasters including ITV, BBC online, Sky Sports and BT Sport in the UK.