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Extreme E returns to Sardinia with latest environmental project

July 13 2023 - News Release News Editorial

Extreme E’s environment project on Sardinia recently got underway, with the focus on the conservation of the island’s bee population.

Extreme E returns to Sardinia with latest environmental project

The all-electric off-road racing series was in Sardinia for the Island X Prix, which was co-organised by the Automobile Club d’Italia and Regione Sardegna. It is the third time Extreme E has visited Sardinia, and this time the plan was to support the planting of a half-hectare area with nectar-rich plants, shrubs and trees to create a forest to cater for bees. 

Severe wildfires hit the island in 2021, with the initial blazes impacting more than 20,000 hectares in central Sardinia. It was estimated that 30 million bees were lost during these wildfires. 

“The legacy projects of Extreme E have been addressing the consequences of climate change,” said Professor Lucy Woodall from Extreme E’s Scientific Committee. “Now returning to Sardinia for Season 3, we continue to do this, and having our drivers come to these legacy projects is so important for spreading important messages – in this case the direct impacts of climate change and forest fires on pollinators.

“Pollinators globally are on the decrease and our support of the planting of nectar-rich flora we’re giving bees on the island the best chance of surviving to the next generation.”

Extreme E collaborated with the MEDSEA (Mediterranean Sea and Coast) Foundation, whose research aims to protect and provide sustainable management of the marine and coastal resources of Sardinia. Drivers and personnel also got involved with the project and learned more about the importance of bees and their preservation. 

“Pollinators globally are on the decrease and our support of the planting of nectar-rich flora we’re giving bees on the island the best chance of surviving to the next generation.” Professor Lucy Woodall from Extreme E’s Scientific Committee

“It was such a cool experience to see how the bees help our ecosystems. I think they’re super underestimated when it comes to what they do for the environment and the pollenating process,” said Amanda Sorensen, No.99 GMC Hummer EV Chip Ganassi Racing driver.

“We were doing some honey testing, which was interesting because I didn’t realise that there are so many different varieties of honey. We also saw inside the beehives and learnt about the different roles for bees within the community and saw all the parts that go into the making of honey.”

Extreme E’s established initiatives on the island of Sardinia include installing early warning sensors, which can help to detect and warn of forest fires, alongside Vodafone Business last year. The series will also review its legacy programmes in the region, which focus on the restoration of areas hit by wildfires and replenishing seagrass beds of Posidonia oceanica in the waters of the Marine Protected Areas around Sardinia.

Image: Sam Bloxham/Extreme E

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