Australian lithium producer Vulcan Energy – backed by the Gina Rinehart owned Hancock Prospecting – has signed up as a racing partner with the Extreme E racing team formed by former F1 Champion Nico Rosberg.
The multi-year deal will see Vulcan branding added to Rosber X Racing (RXR)’s 400kW (500 bhp) Odyseey 21 race car for the final three races of Season 1, as well as the race suits of the team’s two star drivers – Australian Molly Taylor and her three-time world rallycross champion co-driver Johan Kristoffersson.
The next Extreme E race, the Arctic X Prix, will be held on the weekend of August 28 and 29 in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland.
Taylor and Kristoffersson currently lead the championship, ahead of the X44 team and the JBXE team with Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky and team founder and former F1 champion Jenson Button.
Each weekend of racing has two days of competition – consisting of two time trial qualifying rounds on the Saturday, followed by the Shoot Out, two semi-finals, and the final on the Sunday. Each team consists of one male and one female driver which, according to the race organisers, is intended towards “promoting gender equality and a level playing field amongst competitors.”
“Extreme E has already achieved worldwide recognition as the future of motorsport – exciting, environmentally-focused and equitable – and Rosberg X Racing are leading the way,” said Vulcan managing director Francis Wedin.
“As the leader in sustainable battery metals, this is an excellent fit to raise global awareness for Vulcan’s Zero Carbon Lithium business. Environmentalism is in the DNA of both teams, and we also share German-Australian origins. We look forward to working with leading sustainability investor Nico Rosberg, and the wider RXR team for the seasons ahead.”
In line with its own sustainability goals, Vulcan Energy announced back in March that it would trace and measure the emissions across its European lithium-ion battery and electric vehicle (EV) supply chain.
Using technology from London-based traceability company Circulor – which already boasts major customers such as Volvo Cars, Daimler, Polestar, and Jaguar Land Rover – Vulcan’s Francis Wedin explained that the tracing technology “will allow us to develop the world’s first fully traceable, transparent and zero carbon lithium product extracted and consumed in Europe.”
And earlier this month Vulcan revealed that they are developing a high-potential lithium deposit in Germany which, due to its proximity to a useable source of geothermal energy, will mean that the company is able to power its operations with renewable energy.
The announcement also revealed French automaker Renault will purchase between 6,000 and 17,000 metric tonnes per year of battery-grade lithium materials from Vulcan.