Electric SUV racing comes to Saudi Arabia’s NEOM

An electric sport utility vehicle (SUV) race will start tomorrow in Saudi Arabia.

The Extreme E Desert X Price go running from February 19 to 20 at the site of the planned futuristic city of NEOM in northwestern Saudi Arabia. The race features electric SUVs, driven by teams of two. According to its website, Extreme E seeks to promote sustainable and environmentally friendly practices by offering electric SUVs.

The organizers decided to hold the race at NEOM “to highlight the causes of desertification, the loss of biological diversity and the importance of resilience in this vulnerable region”. They also said the planned city represents a “significant cultural and societal shift”. Extreme E also held a race in Saudi Arabia last year, according to the website.

Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is seeking to diversify its economy and reduce its dependence on oil revenues. This prompted Salman, through the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, to invest in various futuristic technologies.

The economic diversification effort, officially known as Vision 2030, also included new types of sports. Last month, the sovereign wealth fund launched a group to work on competitive video games, aka e-sports.

Saudi Sports Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal said hosting the Extreme E race aligns with the country’s efforts to “host the biggest and most important international sporting events”, he said. said the manager. The Saudi Press Agency reported today.

However, Saudi Arabia is not giving up on oil yet. The country remains a leading producer and oil prices have resurrected to an all-time high recently.

Electric vehicles appeal to drivers because they emit less carbon into the atmosphere. However, the manufacture of such vehicles can also damage the environment. Batteries for electric cars rely on the extraction of rare earth metals, for example.

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