Sustainable Spotlight: Mahindra Racing

We are incredibly delighted to announce that we will be supplying our sustainable eyewear to Mahindra Racing, one of the founding teams in the FIA Formula E World Championship which uses only all-electric cars.

Through our shared passion for innovation and sustainability we look forward to working together to continue to address the impact of climate change and lead the way in creating a more sustainable future.

Earlier this week, we chatted to CEO and Team Principal Dilbagh Gill ahead of the first races of this season - a double-header in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.

CE: For those who might not know too much about Formula E, how is it different from other motorsport formats and why did you get involved?

There are two main defining aspects that set Formula E apart from other series: firstly, it is the world’s first all-electric racing series, so there are no ICEs (internal combustion engines) in sight; secondly, unlike F1 and other similar championships, we race almost exclusively on temporary street circuits in the heart of some of the most iconic cities around the globe, bringing motorsport to a brand-new, urban audience.

At Mahindra Racing, we see the championship as the ideal platform to be a leader in electric mobility innovation for the Mahindra Group, developing the technology that will be transferred to electric road vehicles– we call it our ‘Race to Road’ philosophy – whilst also playing a role in amplifying the message for cleaner energy and a more sustainable future for our world.

CE: Coral Eyewear ambassador Alexander Sims has joined Mahindra Racing for Season 7 of the championship. How are you feeling ahead of the new season? 

In Alexander Sims, we know we have a proven racing talent who has enjoyed great success in all categories he has raced in, including a Formula E victory in Saudi Arabia last season. He is an intellectual driver and great character, and is already settling in well with the team, working hard throughout testing and simulation preparation, so we expect big things from him this season.

Away from the track, Alexander shares our passion for electric mobility and sustainability, so we’re excited to work with him to further our own sustainability credentials as a team and as a business – it is more than just a buzz word for us.

CE: Formula E strikes an impressive balance between championing sustainability and high-performance motorsport. How do you define success at Mahindra Racing?

First and foremost, we are a racing team so of course we define success by our track performance – we are one of the founding teams of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship with multiple victories and podiums and lots of experience, so we expect to be competing at the front of each and every race we enter.

However, whilst Formula E is undoubtedly the pinnacle of electric motorsport with some of the most competitive and exciting racing to be found, we also recognise its impact as a force for good. The series was founded to counteract climate change by accelerating the adoption of EVs and, in a short space of time, has become a true leader of this mission. As such, success for Mahindra Racing also comes in the form of real-world and measurable change in our impact on the planet, both in environmental targets and changing attitudes. 

CE: On the topic of sustainability, Mahindra Racing recently became the first Formula E entrant to be certified net zero carbon footprint since inception. How have you achieved this?

This was a huge achievement for the team and one we are immensely proud of. We have worked alongside global leaders the ALLCOT Group to offset our carbon emissions for the entirety of the team’s existence, taking into account all aspects of our business such as travel to races, logistics and the production chain for our racing cars. This was through investment in a certified REDD+ project in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, protecting threatened tree species, providing local jobs in forest management and monitoring, supporting education in agro-forestry techniques and protecting at risk wildlife.

We of course recognise that offsetting is only an interim solution to the climate change challenge and we continue to implement changes and processes to continue to reduce our carbon footprint as a race team and business. We also commit our pledge to globally recognised frameworks, such as the UNFCCC Sports for Climate Action and the FIA’s own Sustainability Accreditation, for which we were the first Formula E team to achieve the top three-star rating. We also run other sustainability initiatives such as a tree planting campaign and our sustainable range of teamwear this season.

CE: Mahindra Racing recently committed to staying with Formula E for the Gen3 era, which covers seasons 9 to 12, and we’re starting to see the adoption of Electric Vehicle’s across the world. How excited are you for this?

This was another proud moment for Mahindra Racing. We were in fact the first manufacturer to originally sign up to the championship in 2013, so to be the first to commit to Gen3 too truly stakes our claim as one of the leading teams in the paddock. We consider ourselves the ‘greenest team in motorsport’ so it is the perfect home for us, which combines on track performance and sustainability goals. We’re here to build something for tomorrow, not just today.

When you see all the different manufacturers involved in Formula E – the most of any motorsport series – you realise how important we all see the championship, with regards our shared goals to drive forward e-mobility development and adoption of EVs. With increased commitment by manufacturers to expand their range of electric models and the ever-improving battery and powertrain technology, I am sure we will see an exponential rise of the industry in the coming years. In the last week alone we have seen Jaguar, another competitor in the series, confirm that their entire road fleet will be electric by 2025, while Ford also stated that they will be all-EV by 2030.

All of this seasons Formula E races will be available to watch across BBC Red Button and BBC iplayer with selected races shown on BBC main channels.