Extreme E is the brainchild of Alejandro Agag and motor racing legend Gil de Ferrah. The idea was ignited by a desire to bring world-class racing to remote and stunning locations worldwide whilst highlighting the effects of climate change and human activity on these destinations. In 2018 the pair verbalized their ideas and the Extreme E epic adventure began to take form.
Combining electric racing and researching the negative impact on the planet by global warming required a team of talented, dedicated and skilled professionals. The global odyssey needed a vessel to transport the cars, race drivers and crew to each racing destination and include a laboratory for the research and science team
Extreme E acquired the St. Helena ship, which was formerly a Royal Mail cargo and passenger vessel. Naturally an extensive renovation process had to be undertaken with a focus on reducing the environmental footprint of each element of the process. The ship now runs on low-sulphur marine diesel, uses LED lights, low-water consumption bathroom fittings and chairs made from recycled plastic bottles collected from the Mediterranean.
The Extreme E hospitality team are responsible for feeding the crew, competitors and guests at each race, and those races take place in remote locations including Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Greenland and the Amazon. The kitchen team decided to install an Evogro system onboard the St. Helena to enable themselves to grow fresh salad leaves and herbs in a sustainable way, wherever in the world they would be.
The Evogro system creates a controlled environment that enables plants to be grown from seed to harvest and each shelf is an independently programmable zone so multiple different crop types can be grown at the same time. It uses advanced horticultural LED lighting & hydroponics to grow the plants and it includes multiple sensors and high definition cameras to monitor crop growth.
Patrick Worral Head Chef on the St Helena said;
“ Using the Evogro system is such a huge benefit onboard a ship like ours. We have to be self sufficient and the Evogro system enables this: we can supply the freshest herbs and salads straight from the system, seconds before service. The system also saves us money as we only harvest what we need and there is zero wastage. The feedback has been amazing and it’s so great inviting the guests in and showing them what we do and how we do it all. Not only are we chefs, we are gardeners too, in the middle of the ocean! ”
“Extreme E is showing how global warming is impacting different regions of the world and how we can make a change and highlighting the environmental effect of our decisions, be it plastics use or fossil fuels. For myself, personally, using the Evogro system is a big step towards making a change from the hospitality perspective because by growing our own produce we can cut out the transportation emissions and plastic waste that comes with a lot of food, especially herbs and salads.”
If you would like to follow this unique racing event and track St. Helena’s journey, you can do so by following the team on Extreme E Electric Odyssey