Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, was seen testing a 550bhp all-electric Extreme E car as he took a masterclass in electric racing at the Knockhill Racing Circuit in Scotland with Extreme E.
The test drive is part of a tour ahead of the forthcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November to highlight global climate change issues. Extreme E is an FIA-sanctioned international off-road racing series.
(Also see | More pics of Prince William's electric masterclass)
Prince William was hosted by Alejandro Agag, the CEO and founder of Extreme E, Adam Bond, CEO of AFC Energy, along with members of two of Extreme E’s British teams; George Imafidon, a Junior Engineer on Lewis Hamilton’s X44 team; and driver Catie Munnings, who races for the Andretti United team. During the entire course, Catie Munnings showed Prince William how to get the best out of the series’ electric race vehicle.
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: "It was a great honour for Extreme E to host Prince William at Knockhill today. It was a fantastic opportunity for us to show him the ways in which we are working towards the same shared goals around a lower carbon future for our planet."
"I think he really enjoyed his experience behind the wheel of the ODYSSEY 21, under the expert instruction of Catie. Perhaps a guest racing appearance in Extreme E beckons in the future!" he added.
Adam Bond, CEO of AFC Energy, said, "It was a true pleasure today to host one of the world’s leading climate ambassadors, His Royal Highness Prince William to demonstrate first-hand the role Hydrogen and Fuel Cells can play in supporting the world’s Net Zero aspirations."
“The environment is a key pillar for our sustainable future and to this end, it was a privilege to showcase how AFC Energy and Extreme E are partnering to deliver not only a world first off-grid charging solution for the inaugural all-electric motorsport series, but more importantly, how this one series is quickly defining a new standard for all industry in its transition away from diesel generation," Bond added.
Prince William was seen behind the wheels, skilfully manoeuvring the electric Extreme E car along the track. While he thoroughly enjoyed the drive, Prince William admitted he faltered towards the end. "I clipped the chicane at the end. Just touched the end of it," Price William said at the end of his drive.
Catie Munnings said, "Today will certainly be one of those days that I won’t forget in a hurry! It was an absolute honour to meet The Duke of Cambridge and to teach him about the ODYSSEY 21 and some of the key attributes of these incredible machines. Prince William grasped the basic skills quickly and seemed very at ease with driving electric vehicles, maybe my Andretti United team-mate Timmy [Hansen] should be feeling a little threatened!"
George Imafidon said, "It was an honour to be at the event today and to meet His Royal Highness Prince William. As a recent engineering graduate myself, it’s incredible to see how the motorsport world is responding to the climate crisis, something my generation in particular cares deeply about. To have His Royal Highness here today just shows the ambition of Extreme E in making a positive difference to the planet, and I’m incredibly proud to be a part of it through my team, X44."
Prince William also took a look at Extreme E’s hydrogen fuel cell, which has been developed in collaboration with British-based AFC Energy. The hydrogen fuel cell claims to charge its electric race fleet using zero-emission energy.