A 100% electric Formula E car has taken part in a head-to-head race with a cheetah to highlight the impact of climate change on a species increasingly under threat.
The world’s fastest land animal and Montreal E-Prix race winner Jean-Eric Vergne lined up against each other on a landing strip in a remote part of South Africa’s Western Cape on the southern tip of Africa.
Both can reach speeds of 0-100km/h (62mph) in approximately three seconds. but would Teechetah star Vergne be able to beat a cheetah on home soil?
The stunt was staged to draw attention to the disastrous effects of climate change and the danger it poses to the natural habitat of cheetahs and other wildlife.
Formula E aims to provide a solution. It’s more than just a race on the track – the series is a catalyst for change designed to accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles on a global scale and making our society cleaner for future generations.
There are now just 7,000 cheetahs remaining in the wild. The species is wide-ranging and sparsely distributed and needs large landscapes to survive, making it particularly vulnerable to habitat loss and fragmentation – threats that are exacerbated by a changing climate.
The film was overseen by conservation experts and animal welfare organisations, and released in partnership with Animal Issues Matter, Cheetah Outreach and Endangered Wildlife Trust.
“We knew the similarities in performance between the Formula E car and a cheetah, so we were curious to see the outcome,” explained Alejandro Agag, Founder & CEO of Formula E.
“But, what’s even more important is to determine the outcome for the future for not only us, but the cheetah and other animals we share our planet with.
“We only have one planet and we must address the issues we currently face from the source and electric cars can play a key role in reducing C02 emissions worldwide.”