BEHIND THE PIT WALL WITH SYLVAIN FILIPPI

Team Managing Director Sylvain Filippi reveals what we really learnt about the new season.

Formula E’s double-header curtain-raiser in Diriyah certainly did more than just open the show. It was a non-stop weekend of action and controversy lurking around every corner – both on and off the track – and once again proving that the only thing predictable about Formula E is its unpredictability.

From team-mates clashing to amazing overtakes and frightening crashes, the series’ – and the team’s – 70th race after a hiatus of 197 days really had it all, set under the Saudi stars and the first ever night races.

But before we delve any deeper, I just want to say how glad I am that both Edoardo Mortara and Alex Lynn (who, of course, we know very well) are fine after their terrifying accidents and once again showing how safe these cars are and how crucial the halo device is.
Also, to Formula E for their continued efforts to deliver such an incredible event but, more importantly, for their rigorous covid protocols to keep everyone in our electric paddock safe.

Heading into the season opener is always an unknown, particularly as pre-season testing is so unrepresentative. That said, we knew the level of competition was going to be tough this season, indeed the most competitive yet. The gap from first to last is continually closing meaning that, unlike other forms of racing, any of the teams on the grid are capable of winning.

For Envision Virgin Racing, Diriyah’s duel in the desert would prove to be a tale of two halves. The opening race day just didn’t go our way. Robin’s crash in FP2 meant he was unable to start qualifying and, as we know in Formula E, it is so important to be starting at the front end. Then we had the drama of Nick’s debut qualifying session where his blistering 1:09.015s lap was more than enough to make Super Pole but he – and two other drivers – had their times deleted for setting them during a yellow flag. It is a bitter pill to swallow but as I said to the team, ‘that’s racing’, and you put it behind you and come out stronger (as we did!). Come the race, both drivers moved up the field as much as they could, but it is always going to be tough from that position.

Back at the garage after a tough opening race is when a team really shows what hard work and determination is, the bits the TV cameras can never show you. It was a very late finish that evening for everyone, but we knew from the feedback from the drivers and the engineers that we needed to try something new. Over two hours of debrief later, aided by the expertise of our remote team at Silverstone, and we opted for a major set-up change. Obviously, decisions like these carry uncertainty, especially with the team’s limited testing as a customer team, but it was a calculated one and one a few hours later proved undoubtedly to be the right call.
The next day, Robin lit up the timing screens in FP3, closely followed by Nick in third. This gave everyone both trackside and working remotely a real confidence boost and would later see Robin qualify for his maiden pole by 0.289s, with Nick starting a very credible 10th. And even though we were all wearing face coverings, you could easily tell the whole team had a smile on its face!

The second race was equally as action-packed and ending under red flag conditions after several stoppages. Leading for much of the early stages, Robin would eventually have to settle for the runner-up spot behind former team-mate Sam Bird (once again our congratulations go to him) with Nick crossing the line five places up the road in fifth. That result saw us secure our 30th podium in Formula E and shoot Robin up to third in the standings. It’s hard to put into words what a difference a day can make, and also how grateful we are it was a double-header so we were able to get that chance.

After the race, Nick was unfortunately handed a time penalty for speeding under a full course yellow…a simple mistake for any Formula E driver let alone a rookie. In fact, it is so rewarding to read after the race how media are already viewing him as “Formula E’s best-ever rookie” – that is quite an accolade after just two races! He exceeded his and everyone’s expectations and we’re very exciting to see what he can do at the next race.

So, what did we learn from the opening two races and what can we expect in Rome? For sure, there was a lot of talk about the dominance shown by Mercedes on Friday, especially as never before had one driver topped every session. It is also clear to see that NIO and Dragon have closed the gap at the other end of the field and that no-one can be discounted.

But by far the biggest winner has to be the fans who were, as always, treated to great edge-of-the-seat racing with plenty more to come.

See you in Rome!

Sylvain Filippi
Managing Director
Envision Virgin Racing

HOW TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND’S DUEL IN THE DESERT

It is almost time to go racing! Fans will tell you it has felt like an eternity waiting for Formula E to spark back into life – 4,728 hours to be precise – but the lights are ready to turn green once more. So, to help you make the most of this weekend’s opening rounds we have put together a guide of not just how to watch, but also what to watch out for, at the Diriyah E-Prix…

See the action…
Fans can tune in all over the world in a variety of ways both through traditional broadcasters, as well as via social media and digital platforms. UK fans can watch the races live and free-to-air via the BBC’s online platforms. That includes the BBC Red Button, BBC Sport Online and the BBC iPlayer. The race gets underway at 17:00 GMT and for a complete list of broadcasters and timings for where you live then visit https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/watch/ways-to-watch

Get involved…
Remember, you don’t just have to sit and watch all the action, you can get actually help influence the race outcome thanks to the championship’s unique fan engagement tool, FanBoost. Simply vote for your favourite driver – of course, we hope that’s Nick and Robin from Envision Virgin Racing – and the top five drivers with the most votes will each receive a power boost during the race. Simply click here to get voting https://fanboost.fiaformulae.com/

Circuit…
In the words of Robin Frijns, the 2.94km, 21-turn Diriyah circuit is ‘relentless’. Drivers get little rest bite as they navigate this challenging street track which can offer little in the way of grip due to the sand being blown onto it. Turn 18 with Attack Mode is likely to be the main overtaking spot so watch out for some feisty duels here. There are also several undulations and camber changes for the drivers to contend with, together with some newly resurfaced sections.

Qualifying…
Qualifying is always important in Formula E but none more so that in Diriyah. That’s because track evolution is expected to be huge meaning the last car out is likely to be the quickest as the others in front ‘sweep’ the track for them. Qualifying order for race one is determined by last season’s championship order meaning Robin is in group two whereas Nick is in the better group four.

Conditions…
You’d expect for a country that only has seven days of rain a year for it to be a sun-soaked race but previous races have here suggest otherwise. Rain is always a possibility but the main challenge for teams is the track and air temperature of the night race. Sunset is 17:50 local time, a full two hours before the race gets underway so teams can expect a drop in the thermometer, and with it tweaks to the car balance. Remember, there is only one practice at night so little opportunity to get those all important set ups right.

Schedule (all times local // +3 GMT)

Friday, 26 February
FP2 – 14:00
Qualifying – 16:00
Round 1 – 20:00

Saturday, 27 February
FP3 – 13:45
Qualifying – 16:00
Round 2 – 20:00

Why Formula E Is The Unlikely Champion Of Climate Action

“What’s a Formula E team doing campaigning for climate action” we hear you ask. We know that these are two phrases you might not have associated together, but they are actually the perfect combination.

We’re all acutely aware of the threats climate breakdown poses to our planet: forest fires, droughts, biodiversity loss, floods and famine – and most of us know what needs to be done to prevent it…

We need to reduce emissions from burning fossil fuels.

So, what’s Formula E and Envision Virgin Racing got to do with that?

Petrol and diesel cars use internal combustion engines (ICE) which rely on the burning of fossil fuels to power them. In fact, the global transport sector accounts for almost a quarter of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions and it also contributes to air pollution which has been linked to nearly 400,000 premature deaths per year. ICE vehicles are driving climate breakdown and devastating our planet.

That’s where we come in.

Electric cars and renewable energy are vital in reducing air pollution and fighting climate breakdown around the world. Formula E is driving the mass adoption of e-mobility through pioneering green technologies, improving infrastructure and raising awareness of these solutions to the climate crisis. Not only this but with a huge global audience of hundreds of millions of people each year, Formula E is educating on the benefits of electric vehicles and inspiring people to make the switch all over the world.

Formula E is at the cutting-edge of innovation. The technology being developed within our race cars is positively impacting the cars on our roads. Formula E is a testbed for manufacturers to develop dramatic advancements in tech, EV battery and software technology, and these advancements filter down into the everyday electric vehicles, making them cleaner and greener.

Here at Envision Virgin Racing, not only is our team carbon-neutral, but we also use 100% renewable energy at our Silverstone headquarters. When it comes to Envision, they’re a global leader in renewable energy generation and smart energy management. In fact, they’re the second largest wind turbine manufacturer in China and the seventh largest in the world. Yet, while we’re doing everything in our power to limit our impact on the planet and use our platforms as a force for good… we know we’re not perfect.

We think it’s important to be as transparent as possible. Hey, we’re not the perfect company… is there even such a thing? But what we do know is that we’re using our platform and our voice to stand up for the planet. While we don’t claim to have all the answers, we’re committed to doing everything in our power to drive a cleaner, greener future and inspire positive change.

Look, electric vehicles aren’t perfect, renewable energy isn’t perfect, but it’s this striving for perfection without action that is harming our planet. We’re not here to preach, and we’re certainly not here to judge, but what we are here to do is showcase the role these can have in safeguarding our home.

Robin Frijns (NLD) Envision Virgin Racing, Audi e-tron FE07

We’ve all heard the rhetoric: “electric vehicles produce more CO2 in manufacturing”, “EV’s still rely on burning fossil fuels”, or “EV’s can’t go on long journeys”. We’ll be debunking these myths in a series in our blog, but for now, we’re here to say that electric vehicles might not be perfect, but we won’t save the planet without them.

In fact, new research from the universities of Exeter, Nijmegen and Cambridge shows that in 95% of the world, driving an electric car is better for the climate than a petrol car. The only exceptions are countries such as Poland, where electricity generation is still mostly based on coal. This research also shows that the average lifetime emissions from electric cars are up to 70% lower than petrol cars in countries like Sweden and France (where most electricity comes from renewables and nuclear), and about 30% lower in the UK.

So, let’s remember that while there is no perfect solution to the climate crisis, electric vehicles and renewable energy transition are sure as heck important ones. We’re not claiming to be the perfect solution, nor are we not claiming to have all the answers, but we haven’t got time to sit around arguing… time is running out to save our home.

So what are you waiting for? Join us in the race against climate change.

Team launches new sustainability series featuring ‘Kids Against Plastic’

Envision Virgin Racing has teamed up with teenage eco-activists Amy and Ella Meek – otherwise known as the ‘Kids Against Plastic’ – for a new multi-part sustainability series.

Designed specifically to inspire the next generation, the Race Against Climate Change series launches today and aims to break down the different aspects of the climate emergency, in addition to looking at possible solutions, as well as keeping fans up to date with the latest EV and Formula E news.

The new series will be available across the team’s official channels in addition to being available via the WaterBear Network following the team’s recent partnership with the free, interactive video-on-demand platform.

Sisters Amy and Ella Meek from Nottingham, UK, shot to fame after creating the ‘Kids Against Plastic’ campaign to collect 100,000 pieces of single use plastic – one for every sea mammal killed by waste plastic each year.

Since then, the teenagers have published a practical book aimed at teaching and inspiring budding eco-warriors about the dangers of plastic pollution and climate change, but also to help them find their voice.

The pair also recently featured as guest panellists on the team’s ‘RACC Live’ thought leadership event alongside actor Aidan Gallagher.

You can watch Episode 1-3 from the series now!

EPISODE 1

EPISODE 2

EPISODE 3

Cassidy: “You just can’t buy Formula E experience”

Formula E rookie Nick Cassidy admits acclimatising to the ‘energy management world’ of Formula E will prove challenging as he prepares for his all-electric race debut with Envision Virgin Racing.

The 26-year-old is one of three newcomers lining up this Friday for the opening round of the new Formula E season, alongside BMW’s Jake Dennis and Venturi’s Norman Nato.

Yet despite topping the times during last year’s rookie test and being a holder of the covered ‘triple crown’ of Japanese motorsport, the New Zealander is aware of the experience he is up against up and down the field.

“As one of three rookies this year in a very experienced field I want to manage my expectations but at the same time I want to do my very best,” says Cassidy speaking to Formula E commentator Jack Nicholls for the team’s new On Charge series.

https://youtu.be/_2bgniwK3cg

“Qualifying is super important in Formula E, even more so in Diriyah with the track evolution. I’ve not done a lot of testing in the car to date – only a couple of days in fact – but on my one-lap pace I still feel comfortable.

“However, you just can’t buy experience. Come the races and that’s where experience in things like energy management will really come into its own.”

“For me, every race is going to be important; every lap is going to be important, and I just hope I can make the most of it as quickly as possible.

– Nick Cassidy

“A few Super Formula races I’ve done have been fuel critical but that’s about as close as I can get to the energy management in Formula E.”

Nick, who will partner the team’s long-standing driver and two-time race winner Robin Frijns, is thankful to the team though for the support he has had to date. “The team have been amazing getting me up to speed and I am excited to be reunited with race engineer Stephen Lane who led me to a podium in Macau a few years back. Robin has also been great and someone I can learn a lot from. We just have to see what will happen in Diriyah.”

Nick and Robin will be in action on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 February for the opening Formula E rounds in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. Both races take place at 20:00 local time and to find out how you can tune in visit: https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/watch/ways-to-watch

Frijns: New Formula E season even more driver dependent

Envision Virgin Racing driver Robin Frijns believes the new Formula E season, which gets underway this Friday, will put even more onus on drivers to deliver.

Speaking to series commentator Jack Nicholls via the team’s new On Charge series, the 29-year-old Dutchman feels the field is now even tighter, making teams even more reliant on their driver to be faultless, especially in qualifying.

“The field is coming much closer together,” comments the two-time race-winner. “The driver now makes even more of a difference and the whole field is going to be fighting over a few tenths rather than half of second.”

Frijns, who embarks on his third consecutive season with Envision Virgin Racing, is one of 24 drivers heading into this weekend’s season opener in Diriyah featuring two spectacular night races. After the frustration of last season, Frijns is now hoping he and new team-mate Nick Cassidy can put that behind him and challenge at the sharp end.

“From around race two last season things started to become difficult with DNFs, bad luck and car issues,” says Frijns. “You then start to see your season slipping away from you. I never lost hope though and the Berlin finale was better, and it showed the speed was there to be at the front.

“There’s no reason why we can’t fight for the championship, we just need a bit more luck on our side.”
– Robin Frijns

“With a new season though, everyone starts a fresh… but it is impossible to set targets in Formula E, especially with the qualifying format we have. Nevertheless, we are going into the season trying to win like everyone else. We have the team and the support from Audi to be competitive, so there’s no reason why we can’t fight for the championship, we just need a bit more luck on our side.”

Speaking on his new-team mate Nick Cassidy, Frijns added: “Nick is a good guy. We actually drove together in the last race of DTM last year. He’s very relaxed and a good chap to hang out with. He showed his potential at the rookie test in Marrakesh, so I don’t underestimate him at all. As a team we always want two cars at the front, not just one, so hopefully we have that with Nick. I think Nick will be very competitive from the off.”

Robin and Nick will be in action this weekend when Formula E returns on Friday and Saturday (26 & 27 February) with two races taking place at 20:00 local time. UK fans can watch live race action via the BBC Red Button and online from 17:00.

NEW FORMULA E SEASON WILL BE “MOST COMPETITIVE YET”

Envision Virgin Racing’s Managing Director Sylvain Filippi expects the new Formula E season to be the “most competitive yet” but says the team and its new driver pairing are relishing the challenge.

This Friday (February 26) marks the welcome return for the all-electric series – now classified a World Championship – after a 197-day hiatus, with a double-header season opener in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, and the first ever night races.

Following strict covid protocols, the team are now carrying out their final preparations on the ground, together with its revised driver line-up in Robin Frijns and newcomer Nick Cassidy.

“Formula E has always been super competitive but the feeling this season is that the field is even tighter,” says Filippi, who has been with the team since its inception. “The gap from first to last is now closer than ever – just a few tenths – meaning there is no room for any error be it the drivers or the teams. Add to this the global challenges facing us all right now and I truly believe the new Formula E season will be the most competitive yet, which, of course, is great news for those watching at home. That said, we are relishing the challenge and everyone in the team has worked tirelessly to ensure we’re ready for the season opener.”

Rising star and 2019 Super Formula champion Nick Cassidy will make his race debut for the team this weekend. The 26-year-old New Zealander said: “As one of three rookies this year in a very experienced field I want to manage my expectations but at the same time I want to do my very best. Qualifying is super important in Formula E, even more so in Diriyah with the track evolution, and I feel comfortable with my one-lap pace. Come the races though and that’s where experience in things like energy management will really come into their own. The team have been amazing getting me up to speed and I am excited to be reunited with race engineer Stephen Lane who led me to a podium in Macau a few years back. Robin has also been great and someone I can learn a lot from.”

Team-mate Robin Frijns, who embarks on his third season with the team, said: “I think this season the driver is going to make more of a difference than ever before; you’ll have to be on it from the start, especially in Diriyah which is very challenging with only one line to drive on. We know its about consistency though and having two drivers at the front, and with Nick I feel we have that. He has fitted in really well and everyone is excited to see what he can do after topping the times at the rookie test in Marrakesh. Everyone is also really happy to be racing again and to get this new season underway.”

Franz Jung, Chairman of the Board at Envision Virgin Racing, added: “I know how hard the team and the drivers have worked over the past months, so I wish to send my thanks and appreciation to everyone at Envision Virgin Racing and hope all this effort is rewarded, as we saw last time out in Diriyah with victory in the opening round.” Rounds one and two of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship take place in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 February, beginning at 20:00 local time.

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE NEW FORMULA E SEASON

After a wait of 197 days, in one week from now, Formula E will spark back into life for the start of the new season and the championship’s milestone 70th race. It may have been a long time coming but we guarantee it will be worth the wait as 12 teams and 24 drivers go head-to-head once more, this time vying to be crowned the first ever electric World Champion. So, after such a long hiatus, we felt it was time to bring you up speed with all that has been going on and what to expect this season…

Who are the new faces in the paddock?

As with every season, there are some fresh faces amongst the Formula E roster this year along with some movers and shakers around the teams – making for arguably the most competitive line-up in motorsport. Three drivers will embark on their rookie season; BMW’s Jake Dennis, Frenchman Norman Nato at Venutri and, of course, our very own Nick Cassidy. All will be eager to impress on their debut race outing so be sure to keep an eye out for these youngsters (and give Nick your FanBoost vote!).

Elsewhere, there are some old faces in new guises with the likes of Tom Blomqvist now at NIO 333, Pascal Wehrlein over at Porsche, Alex Lynn at Mahindra, Sam Bird at Jaguar, together with Rene Rast and Sette Câmara staying on at Audi and Dragon respectively after their Berlin debuts.

Who are the ones to watch?

As fans will know, the best part of Formula E is its unpredictability – 17 different winners from 69 races – so picking out favourites is always tough…apart from Envision Virgin Racing of course! That said, few would discount the pairing of Jean-Eric Vergne and Antonio Felix Da Costa at DS Techeetah from making a lasting impression next Friday.

Mercedes have also made leaps forward since joining the paddock and their maiden victory at the last race in Berlin showcased a glimpse of their true potential, especially with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries making it a 1-2.

Nissan and Mahindra are both expected to be quick out the blocks, but it is too close to call and, as usual, the official pre-season test at Valencia didn’t give us much to go on. You’ll just have to watch the first race!

Does every team have a new car for this season?

Ordinarily the answer would be yes, but due to the global pandemic, Formula E and governing body the FIA introduced a two-year development cycle to aid teams with budgets. As such, teams had longer to introduce their season seven changes but then they would be homologated (fixed) until the end of season eight. As such, all teams apart from DS Techeetah, Nissan and Dragon will have new cars for the season opener in Diriyah with those three opting to introduce theirs ahead of the next race in Rome.

VALENCIA CIRCUIT RICARDO TORMO, SPAIN – NOVEMBER 28: Robin Frijns (NLD), Envision Virgin Racing, Audi e-tron FE07 during the Pre-Season Testing at Valencia Circuit Ricardo Tormo on Saturday November 28, 2020 in Valencia, Spain. (Photo by Andrew Ferraro / LAT Images)

Are there any new gimmicks or big rule changes this season?

In short, there’s nothing major apart from more great one-day racing! There’s been a few rule tweaks though such as those around a driver’s weight which will help level up the field and reduce any advantages – or disadvantages – previously gained. Teams also have two less tyres per race event, a reduction from eight to six, and have their ‘remote garages’ strictly monitored by the FIA, but the likes of the qualifying and race format, and aspects like FanBoost and Attack mode, remain unchanged. Of course, this year sees Formula E awarded World Championship status which, surprisingly, doesn’t just mean holding races on multiple continents but also featuring four or more manufacturers.

Where is Formula E racing this season?

Understandably, the pandemic has affected the original Formula E calendar but despite the challenges, event organisers have confirmed at least eight races in amazing locations with more expected. The season opener in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, will not only be a double-header but also the first ever night race powered using 100% renewable energy. Next on the stop is Rome with a brand-new layout before Formula E’s first ever event on Spanish soil in Valencia, and on a permanent track. Monaco is next up, although we’re waiting to see if the teams will get to use the full circuit layout, followed by Marrakesh and Chile.

What can we expect in Diriyah?

For sure, some great racing but the biggest hurdle for teams will be track evolution. The circuit is expected to be very dusty and dirty but will gradually get cleaner and quicker as the event rolls on meaning the difference in lap times between day one and day two will be significant. That means the fight to be the last car out in qualifying will be even more important. Of course, being a night race, temperatures will be lower so that will require car balance changes between the day and night set ups but only time will tell who will come out on top.

And where can I watch all the action?

That depends on where you live but the easiest way is to visit the Formula E website for a list of broadcasters and times. For those living in the UK, you can once again enjoy coverage on the BBC via the Red Button and online, as well as via Eurosport. And of course, we will bring you all the latest news, images and chat right here on the Envision Virgin Racing website and social channels.

ENVISION VIRGIN RACING AND WATERBEAR ANNOUNCE EXCLUSIVE PARTNERSHIP

Sustainability-focused Formula E team Envision Virgin Racing is set to further inspire generations to tackle climate change thanks to a new exclusive partnership with the WaterBear Network.

The collaboration will see the carbon neutral motorsport team become the exclusive Formula E team content partner of WaterBear – a new free, interactive video-on-demand platform dedicated to highlighting the most critical issues facing the planet.

Launched at the end of last year, the WaterBear Network has already attracted an impressive roster of high-profile supporters – including the Duke of Sussex Prince Harry, model and activist Lily Cole and Game of Thrones actor Maisie Williams – as well as more than 80 charities and NGOs around the world including WWF and Greenpeace.

WaterBear, aptly named after one of the most resilient creatures in the world, is available on any device and showcases award-winning documentaries, inspirational original content as well as live streaming, all designed to facilitate awareness, education and action.

To kickstart the partnership, WaterBear will stream the team’s new multi-part sustainability series presented by eco-activists Amy and Ella Meek, otherwise known as Kids Against Plastic. WaterBear members will also be able to watch and engage with all the team’s campaigns and original content from its ‘Race Against Climate Change’ initiative via a bespoke branded environment on the channel.

Victor Eckard, Managing Director at WaterBear, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Envision Virgin Racing to the WaterBear Network. At WaterBear our goal is to take our members on a journey, using great storytelling to inspire action. Sport has a huge global – and engaged, following, and through this partnership, we hope to mobilise this powerful community to be inspired by award-winning content and create impact around the world.”

“Like Envision Virgin Racing, when it comes to inspiring people to address climate change, WaterBear is not just about ‘saying’, it’s about ‘doing’.”

James Mercer, Commercial Director at Envision Virgin Racing

Envision Virgin Racing’s Commercial Director James Mercer added:”Their unique interactive technology enables viewers to watch amazing original content but also to connect directly with these organisations, and that is what really stood out for us. The team, our stakeholders and friends are all really excited about the partnership and being able to expand our efforts to inspire positive change.”

The WaterBear collaboration now joins a growing list of environmental initiatives the team has undertaken from its recent partnership with the UN’s COP26 climate summit through to becoming the first motorsport team to sign up to the UNFCCC Sports for Climate Action Framework.

What does ICE Mean And Which Countries Are Leading The Phase Out?

ICE, or internal-combustion engines, are the most common vehicles on our roads. However with urgent action needed to prevent the accelerating breakdown of our climate, the reliance on ICE vehicles is changing… and quickly!

All over the globe, these vehicles are being phased out with cities setting clear deadlines for their ban, and a pledge to speed up the global transition to e-mobility.

But what exactly are ICE vehicles?

The modern Internal Combustion Engine was created in 1876 by the German Engineer Nicolaus Otto and today they are used to power cars, vans, aircraft and boats. The thing is, these engines are reliant on energy-dense fuels like petrol and diesel, two liquids which are derived from fossil fuels. This isn’t helping our planet. In fact, when these fossil fuels are burnt in an ICE engine they release carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons, which are all contributing significantly to both air pollution and global warming.

It’s not all just about the CO2 either! While carbon dioxide is terrible for our planet, methane is actually much more worrying as it’s 84% more potent than CO2 in the first two decades of its release.

So what are we doing about this?

Good question. The sale of ICE vehicles is being banned around the world, and countries are placing greater focus on the switch to electric vehicles (EV’s). The transition to e-mobility is vital in meeting the targets set at the Paris Climate Accord and halting climate breakdown. So what is it that makes EV’s so good?

EVs don’t emit harmful pollutants from the exhaust pipe, they don’t rely on fossil fuels to power them and they offer greater energy efficiency.

Who’s leading the race in ICE phase out?

With deadlines for ICE phase outs being outlined all over the world, let’s dive into the countries and cities that are leading the way in the electric vehicle revolution.

Countries

2025 = Norway
2030 = UK, Denmark, Hainan (China), Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden
2035 = California (US), Cape Verde, Japan, Quebec (Canada)
2040 = British Columbia (Canada), Canada, France, Spain, Singapore
2050 = Costa Rica (IZEVA – International Zero-Emission Vehicle Alliance)

Let’s hear it for Norway! Having set the most ambitious phase-out targets, Norway is on a mission to become the greenest country in the world by pledging to ban the sale of all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2025, and become the leader in electric vehicles. Awesome!

Closer to home, The UK recently brought forward its ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2040 until 2030. This is supported by over £1.8 billion to support greater uptake of EV’s, including the roll-out of charge points and innovation for new clean technologies. It’s hoped this move will increase the air quality in our cities, help the UK meet climate targets and encourage economic growth across the country. This will also be supported by the UK’s presidency of COP26, which is taking place in Glasgow this November and aims to accelerate action on the climate crisis and drive positive change.

From 2025 onwards, new buses entering service in the Netherlands need to be zero-emission, as do new passenger vehicles sold from 2030 onward. It is also committed to executing zero-emission city logistics by 2025. This means that Dutch municipalities will have the opportunity to set up areas where only delivery vans and lorries will be able to drive emission-free.

As if that wasn’t awesome enough, Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, Slovenia and Sweden are the other European countries that have committed to end the sale or registration of new ICE passenger cars in less than 10 years.

We’re feeling hopeful that with the phase out of ICE and a transition to e-mobility we can drastically cut emissions, improve the quality of the air we breathe and help safeguard our planet for future generations!

Cities

Some cities have pledged to take steps to phase out ICE vehicles earlier than their national governments, with many forward-thinking regions signing up the C40 Fossil Fuel Free Streets Declaration. Many mayors of the world’s greenest cities are going even further by pledging zero-emission buses from 2025 and ensuring major areas of their cities are zero-emissions by 2030. This includes over 30 cities such as London, Paris, Copenhagen, Jakarta, Tokyo and Liverpool.

In Norway, cities are gifting residents free or subsidized parking, tolls, and charging, as well as generous tax breaks in order to meet their 2025 target – which is the most ambitious target in the world.

In London, the expansion of the “ultra low emission zone” in 2019 imposed a £12.50 daily fee for cars deemed too polluting, as well as tax breaks for new clean vehicle buyers. This was part of a hard-hitting package of measures which aimed to tackle the public health crisis created by London’s air pollution. London residents live in an area which exceeds World Health Organization guidelines for the most dangerous toxic particle, and around half of the emissions from road transport are nitrogen oxides (NOx), which contributes to illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and particulate matter (PM).

Since 2019, Dublin has committed to only buying electric buses, with a full phase out of ICE by 2030, which mirrors Paris’ aim of banning all ICE vehicles by 2030, with diesel vehicles being banned first from 2025.

With the highest motorcycle ownership in the world at 509 motorcycles per thousand persons, Taiwan has also joined the transition to electric vehicles by pledging to ban all new sales of non-electric motorbikes by 2035.

Conclusion

Here at Envision Virgin Racing, we feel that these phase out deadlines can’t come soon enough. By banning ICE engines and driving the transition to electric vehicles, we’re excited about the future of transport. Through our partnership with COP26’s Together For Our Planet and our Race Against Climate Change program, we’re aiming to excite generations in the electric vehicle revolution and the huge benefits this will bring.