07 Sep 21

International Day of Clean Air for blue skies: Formula E's race for clean air

The UN's International Day of Clean Air for blue skies emphasises that more must be done to improve air quality and reduce air pollution to protect human health. Using world-class motorsport, Formula E aims to facilitate the transfer of technologies from race track to road and inspire innovation, to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles - driving the race for clean air forward.

Racing for cleaner air

Sustainability is deeply rooted in Formula E's DNA, as the reason we go racing. The FIA World Championship promotes electric mobility and alternative energy solutions to contribute to reducing air pollution and the fight against climate change, in partnership with the UN Environment Programme's #CleanAirForAll campaign.

Urban air pollution is currently increasing by eight per cent every five years and 95 percent of cities worldwide do not meet the guidelines established by the World Health Organization. It kills more people than smoking, with the WHO also estimating that seven million people die as a result of air pollution every year.

Alongside our partners, we are advocating the global adoption of clean mobility by enhancing technologies, working with cities to improve infrastructure and raise awareness of the benefits of electric vehicles - one of the most effective means of tackling urban air pollution.

Currently there are four barriers to the global uptake of electric vehicles and Formula E is stiriving to break down each:

  1. Perception: proving electric cars are high-performing and efficient.
  2. Technology: removing range anxiety and showcasing lifespan and longevity
  3. Infrastructure: increasing the number and speed of charging stations
  4. Cost: making cars cheaper in comparison to other options on the market


Formula E x UNEP

Since 2017, the partnership has used its collective global platform to drive awareness of air pollution, access information on air quality, advocate for electric vehicle technology, inspire action and help prevent risk to human health.

The collaboration - extended in April - indicates the strength of the partnership, including Formula E's alignment in contributing towards six of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and reflects what has been achieved to date.

These include: activating the #BreatheLife campaign in Seasons 4 and 5 in our Allianz e-Village, fundraising and screening campaign videos in our premium hospitality areas at races, becoming ambassadors for the UNEP #BeatAirPollution campaign and positioning Formula E driver and Season 3 champion Lucas Di Grassi (Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler) as a UNEP Clean Air Advocate.

Our vision

We aspire to accelerate change towards an electric future, one race and one city at a time. We aim to raise awareness and inspire change in sustainable practises, contributing to reducing global carbon emissions and urban air pollution.

Cities contribute disproportionately to global air pollution, producing 75 per cent of global emissions while housing over 55 per cent of the world's population. By bringing racing to the heart of some of the world’s most iconic cities, Formula E shines a spotlight on the inner-city spaces which stand to benefit most from reduced vehicle emissions.

Using the spectacle of sport, we're sending powerful and meaningful message to help change perceptions and speed up the switch to electric mobility. We also operate as a testbed to push the development of new technologies needed for an electric, low-carbon future.

Air pollution monitoring

Formula E is making use of its race events to understand further local air quality and is utilising its global platform to engage and educate fans.

At the Berlin E-Prix this year, Formula E collaborated with Kunak and Airly to install a number of sensors across the event to build up a detailed picture of air quality that fed live site data to fans on-site and via the app.

Mapping out pollution across the globe is one positive step we can make towards making air quality more transparent for everyone.

This event-based pilot follows Formula E's work with Plume Labs, which offers up an interactive map that allows fans to understand the quality of air around them, as well as that of our teams, drivers and partners in real-time.


How you can help

Your actions can help make a difference in reducing air pollution. Switching to an electric vehicle, carpooling, reducing how much meat and dairy you eat, picking locally-grown or seasonal fruit and veg and keeping your devices switched off at home when they're not in use are all practical ways you can get involved. 

Learn more about air pollution, what's being done, and find out how you can help