The 2024 Diriyah E-Prix double-header races came to a close late last month with the staging of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship helping the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia build a sustainable future.
Since hosting its first race in the Saudi capital in 2018, Formula E has established itself as a significant event on the country’s calendar with sustainability a big focus for both the championship and the Kingdom.
Today, the country is working towards transforming itself into a global destination for tourism and business as part of its Vision 2030 strategy where Saudi Arabia aims to achieve Net Zero by 2060.
Formula E, which has been staging races in the capital since 2018, fits within this vision. The recent event at the Diriyah Street Circuit was powered by 100% renewable energy using B100 biofuel, generated locally in the Kingdom, which can reduce carbon emissions by up to 60% compared to regular diesel.
It also adopted an extensive waste recycling system for all plastic, paper, cardboard, aluminium, steel and glass on site – an initiative that is used at all of its races every season. There was also no public parking for fans, who were encouraged to use public transport instead to help reduce carbon emissions.
Beyond Formula E, the Saudi Arabian government has been investing in growing its electric vehicles (EV) market including launching its own EV brand, Ceer, and expanding its charging infrastructure as it shifts towards sustainable transport.
Julia Pallé, Vice President of Sustainability at Formula E, praised the Kingdom’s efforts. She said: “There’s a very strong alignment between Formula E and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia especially through its Vision 2030 Plan which is focused on building a more sustainable future.
“We always make sure we have a consistent approach on using renewable energy for all races and in Diriyah, the B100 biofuel was used to power generators which not only charged the cars but also provided the energy to light up the track at night.”
Prior to last week’s races in Saudi Arabia, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, announced a ground-breaking multi-year partnership, Electric 360, with Formula E, Extreme E, and E1 to support the growth of electric motorsports and their role in advancing the future of electric mobility.
Both Extreme E, an off-road racing series involving electric SUVs, and E1, the world’s first and only all-electric racing boat championship, as well as Formula E are founded by Alejandro Agag.
Pallé says this partnership is a ‘turning point’ that can help accelerate the growth of electric mobility. She said: “This is a turning point as it showcases at the highest level from a government perspective that they view Formula E as a platform for the future of electric mobility. This is extremely important for us as Formula E is only 10 years old and working alongside one of the most important government entities in the world who are investing in tomorrow’s future, is a testament to Formula E and shows we are going in the right direction.”