Welcome to AdFeeder’s web Wednesdays, your weekly dose of the latest news and stories that have caught our eye. From technology news to the latest vehicle releases and everything in between, we aim to bring you a quick run down of what you need to know each week.
When we say Web, you say Wednesday! We bring you all the things you might have missed from a busy week of announcements and news!
McLaren are set to join Extreme E
It’s one of the most famous and decorated motorsport outfits in history, where drivers such as Ayrton Senna, James Hunt and Sir Lewis Hamilton have all driven for this iconic team, but McLaren are now looking to move into a new racing discipline entirely.
It’s called Extreme E, and it involves a lot of dirt, a heap of determination and a lot of electric power. That’s right – this gruelling race series is made up entirely of electric off-road vehicles. The vehicles themselves are all identical 536bhp electric spaceframe SUVs. Each of the nine teams that are currently running have a single car for a male and female driver, who must swap at the midway point of each race.
The concept is genius, and it is proving to be extremely popular amongst fans, teams and drivers. Some of those drivers you might recognise – Jamie Chadwick, rally legend Sebastian Loeb and even a father-daughter duo from Carlos and Laia Sainz. McLaren will be joining some huge names who have already entered as teams too, with Nico Rosberg and Jensen Button both putting the funding in for their own teams.
Extreme E features strict caps on the number of personnel each team can employ, and McLaren said the Extreme E would be formed from existing staff from outside the F1 programme and newly recruited specialists. Thankfully, this won’t affect the team’s impressive efforts in Formula One, but will instead run alongside it, much like their current Indycar outfit.
Cardiff needs 9,900 more charging points by 2030
It seems almost every area in the UK is likely to be affected by this at some point – we’ve already seen Bath leading the way with clean air zones, and most recently Birmingham also joining the emission free revolution – meaning the pressure is really on for other cities to follow suit.
Interestingly, Cardiff seems to have the furthest to go in becoming more EV friendly. With a deadline set at 2030 for many car brands to remove the option of regular combustion engines from their model lineups, the emphasis really is now on electric cars. However it’s not just the manufacturers that need to be ready, and Cardiff is a prime example. Just 100 charging points are currently located in the city, a figure that needs to increase by a staggering 9,900 in 9 years.
According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, the call for thousands of extra charging points is just one part of a massive shift in how the city’s transport will change over the coming decade. It has been suggested that nine out of ten cars could be electric by 2030, meaning that the city centre has some work to do to be ready.
On the flip-side, there is still a big debate about whether electric cars are actually the best solution, as we explain a little more in the next topic…
Land Rover are developing a hydrogen powered Defender
And just like that – we’re talking about something fairly similar to EVs: hydrogen.
Land Rover has confirmed that it will develop a hydrogen fuel cell prototype Defender, due to be put through its paces on UK roads later in 2021. Called Project Zeus, it’s a part of Jaguar Land Rover’s Reimagine strategy, which aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions across all JLR supply chains, manufacturing and products by 2039.
We now know that the first hydrogen prototype is based on the new Defender. Dubbed the Defender FCEV, the powertrain incorporates a fuel cell stack, electric drive units, a large battery (taking on recouped energy from braking and providing reserve/boost power for the electric motors) and a high-pressure tank for storing the hydrogen.
Hydrogen looks to be another alternative to EV power, and we could expect to see these two new fuels running alongside each other much like petrol and diesel are right now. 2030 isn’t that far away in the grand scheme of things, and like we mentioned earlier, it’s not just car brands that need to move quickly on this, as without good infrastructure the entire movement could stumble.
Youtuber Jimmy Broadbent shares Team BRIT experience
Another one we mentioned a few weeks back, but now that the video has literally just dropped so we felt it was only right to share it out. To recap, Jimmy Broadbent, sim racer turned real racer, visited Team BRIT’s HQ at the Top Gear Test Track to check out their class-leading hand controls both virtually and in reality.
Having spent years behind the wheel of his sim rig that’s located in his garden shed, Jimmy has traded virtual paint with some incredibly famous faces – Lando Norris, Max Verstappen and the Fittipaldi brothers, you name it – Jimmy’s raced against them. His online commentary has earned him some seriously impressive gigs too, recently becoming the commentator for Gran Turismo’s World Championships.
Back to the real stuff for now, and Jimmer impressed the guys at Team BRIT with just how quickly he adapted to the hand controls – which interestingly are set so that the gear up is on the left of the wheel, and shift down on the right. The guys from Team BRIT were on hand to guide Jimmy to this new way of driving, but he managed to get some impressive lap times on the £50,000 sim rig, before heading out on the real circuit in the Aston Martin Vantage GT4.
We urge you to check out the video here, not only is it super entertaining, it also shows a great insight into how much work the Team BRIT drivers have to put in to use the hand-controls, all whilst racing wheel to wheel with a full grid of cars!
Elliot is our resident tech-lover and petrolhead, who is in charge of spreading AdFeeder to the masses! Having previously worked with brands such as Porsche and BMW, Elliot specialises in content creation and social media.