Desert, coast, arctic, rainforest and glacier. Extreme E is bringing electric racing to some of the most remote corners of the planet to highlight the challenges of climate change face by different ecosystems and the need of a sustainable development. And part of this electric journey was developing an extremely robust car.
Revealed in 2019 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Odyssey 21 is Extreme E’s original full electric SUV built by Spark Racing Technology using best-in-class materials and technologies, from the exclusive Continental tires using rubber from dandelions, to disrupting energy storage technology by Williams and the use hydrogen fuel cells. However, to enable Odyssey 21 to race in these extreme locations, among all the challenges faced during the design and development programme, one was crucial for the future of car: what material could be used to build the car that combine safety, performance and sustainability simultaneously? 
Niobium technology was the definite solution. When added to materials like steel, Niobium increases properties like strength and toughness.
To ensure the safety of the drivers, Odyssey 21’s chassis and roll cage are entirely built using Niobium-reinforced advanced high strength steels (AHSS), reaching 2000MPa, which enabled to reduce its weight in 20%, while increasing strength in 30%.  Besides, it has a close relation to the performance of Odyssey 21, having a lighter structure means more efficiency to race in some of the world’s harshest terrains.

During the Desert XPrix qualifying in Saudi Arabia, Claudia Hürtgen (ABT Cupra XE) escaped uninjured from a massive accident. The niobium-reinforced chassis and roll caged played a key role in protecting the driver from the impact and remained intact. 

“I think it’s safe to say we are all pleased to see her (Claudia Hürtgen) walk away from the crash – it is a testament to CBMM | Niobium and their robust and tough chassis, which was put to the ultimate test today and delivered.”
Alejandro Agag, CEO Extreme E
Watch how the Niobium-reinforced steels used in the Odyssey 21 are fabricated

Another key role of niobium technology  is the sustainability aspect. The emissions during the fabrication of niobium products can be 60 times lower than other materials and, since it increases the properties of the steel, it also means that less material is required for the fabrication of end products, reducing considerably the carbon footprint during the entire chain, from production to lifecycle. A win-win solution for industries and environment.

 

Extreme E is helping to save the planet. Niobium is helping to save lives.  

 

To learn more about Extreme E visit extreme-e.com.

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