A childhood Formula One fan, but also an environmental enthusiast, supporting Formula E makes sense to Ellie Goulding.
Although the British singer-songwriter was introduced to motor racing via the petrol version, the environmental aspect of Formula E makes it “much more cool,” she says.
“The cars are incredible, in watching how they’re made, watching the craftsmanship, the work that goes into them, the technology, the teams,” Goulding told CNN’s Supercharged at the Marrakech ePrix in Morocco.
“They’re making it cool and it should be and that’s why I’m here. I want to show my younger fans that this is the future,” added Goulding, who while she was in Marrakech also attended a Formula E Mad Hatters Moroccan Tea Party in celebration of the country’s ePrix at the Hotel Amanjena.
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Using her voice
Goulding has three UK number one singles and two albums to her credit. Her hit “Love me like you do” has had more than 2.1 billion views on YouTube, while more than 40 songs she has either produced or featured in have surpassed 10 million views.
The global superstar is also using the reach of her social platforms – she has more than 20 million combined followers on Twitter and Instagram – to promote her hopes of a greener planet.
And as a result of her regular postings on social media about climate change, she was signed as a Global Goodwill Ambassador for United Nations Environment.
“I was approached by the UN a few years back because I was posting a lot of content about the environment, about how concerned I was about plastic pollution, about climate change, about the fact that my country, the UK, I didn’t think, was doing enough to counteract,” she said.
Goulding believes it was her upbringing in rural Britain that played a key part in why she has taken such an interest in environmental issues.
“I grew up in the countryside, in the middle of nowhere, so I have an affinity for the natural world,” she explained. “So I’ve always been really concerned about it.
“And through the UN, I’ve managed to speak to climate scientists, experts, who were very, very worried. And I’ve learned so much and it means I can pass that knowledge on to my fans and to younger people, the people that follow me, and use my platform for something good.”
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‘Formula E is basically the future’
From an idea scribbled on the back of a napkin in a restaurant in Paris in 2011, Formula E has developed into one of the fastest growing sports.
Initially a 10-team, 11-race competition in its first season, it has expanded to incorporate new territories and new manufacturers in the following six years.
And with the kudos of its reduced environmental impact in comparison to F1, Goulding believes the electric racing series has plenty of room to grow.
“Formula E is basically the future. It’s the same thing but everything is battery powered,” Goulding said.
“It’s incredible. I’ve seen the technology. It’s a little bit more advanced in Formula One, but it’s so much more cool because of the environmental aspect, because it’s green, because it is literally the future.”
In November, F1 announced a new 10-year plan to “change the face of the sport” and become carbon neutral by 2030. But Goulding says Formula E’s petrol rival needs to do more.
“They are creating something that has to be taken on by every other business, company, any (other) kind of venture has to be green from now on,” she added.
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“And something as iconic as Formula One racing, race cars, it has to be green. It’s not an option anymore. And the fact that these guys are making it so damn cool.”