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Electric SUV series Extreme E has received a UK£1 million (US$1.4 million) investment from the UK government for its proposed race in Scotland in 2022.
Following the cancellations of off-road races in Brazil and Argentina, Scotland was touted as a possible replacement, before the series settled on new locations in Sardinia and Dorset.
Despite this, UK chancellor Rishi Sunak included UK£1 million of funding for the Scottish race in the country’s post-Covid-19 budget plan. The state backing will go towards the development of an event in the Scottish Outer Hebrides.
According to a statement from Extreme E, the decision follows ‘productive discussions with the UK government, the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and other key stakeholders over several months’.
The funding announcement comes ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), which is taking place in Glasgow, Scotland and where Extreme E is expected to be present.
“We are thrilled with this investment and to be exploring racing in Scotland in 2022,” said Alejandro Agag, founder and chief executive of Extreme E.
“It is a fitting location off the back of COP26, which will be held in Glasgow imminently, and will allow the conversation on electric mobility and the climate emergency to continue further, inspiring action and highlighting various solutions and mitigation strategies.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the UK government, the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and other key stakeholders as we continue discussions for a Scottish event.”
Roddie Mackay, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar leader, added: “Today’s announcement by UK chancellor Rishi Sunak is a ringing endorsement of the climate ambitions of the Outer Hebrides. This is extremely good news for our communities as we seek to position ourselves as low carbon islands.
“COP26 in Glasgow will soon set the global decarbonisation agenda and, as host for the Scottish round of Zero Carbon race series, Extreme E, the Outer Hebrides will again be punching above its weight in climate terms.
“It is particularly fitting that an island group on the Atlantic frontier with the most to lose from climate change in terms of extreme weather events and rising sea levels has been selected to host this race and Extreme E principles fit well with our aspirations to rapidly decarbonise our island society and economy.
“One of these principles is the ‘race without a trace’ concept and we will now work closely with Extreme E, environmental agencies and the community at the race location to ensure only positive impacts for the community and the planet and we will ensure that the legacy benefits of this event spread to other island communities from the Butt to Barra.”