In September 2014, ten teams will face each other on the tarmac for the first ever racing series that will feature only electric cars - the FIA Formula E World Championship.
It will be a ground-breaking championship, filled with new challenges, where drivers will use two cars rather than one, and 'refuelling' will be done wirelessly.
Aside from the entertainment factor, Formula E will offer manufacturers the opportunity to showcase new electric car designs, helping to share best practice and promote e-mobility in a competitive but enjoyable manner. It will truly provide the platform that electric vehicles need, helping to accelerate interest amongst the general public, bringing e-mobility to the centre stage for the first time.
To be most effective, Formula E needs to be truly sustainable, and the workings of the championship, right down to the materials used for entertainment and broadcasting will have to account for their contribution to its carbon footprint.
That's where we come in. We're a Founding Partner of Formula E, a partnership that provides a natural fit for us. Through our GoGreen environmental protection program, we aim to understand our CO2 footprint and work to improve carbon efficiency for our customers. We will use our insights here to offer support in transporting these electric vehicles as sustainably as possible.
For instance, we'll be faced with a number of logistics challenges in moving the cars from continent to continent. Here we may occasionally have to use airfreight, but our dedicated motorsports team can apply their expertise to dismantle the cars and ship multiple cars in each aircraft container instead of just one, making the move more carbon-efficient. The race events themselves offer huge potential to pilot new, green transportation technologies.
Our team can provide insight on best practice green driving. Our specialists are readily able to share green tips, for example, on how softer braking, reduced speed, less engine idling time and even the angle the accelerator pedal is held at in a car can make your driving more efficient. Of course these tips are unlikely to be used on the racing track, but for the everyday commuter, they could help make a difference to each journey. Formula E provides the perfect forum to engage with the public on themes such as this.
We will also look to share our learnings with others involved in the partnership, whether they are suppliers or even host cities. We are ready to join Formula E in a dialogue to discuss each city's logistics, and to provide advice and support on how to make these more sustainable. DHL has already partnered with the city of Chengdu, China, in a project to improve the efficiency of the city's logistics. And in Bonn, Germany, Deutsche Post DHL's mail division is piloting CO2 - free delivery with a view to potentially rolling it out elsewhere.
We are the first to admit that we are in the early stages of a journey to become truly sustainable as a business. But we're confident that this partnership will spark new insights that will power the sustainability drives of both DHL and Formula E. We will bring value to Formula E, but learn a lot from it too. Together we will work to devise and pilot new, exciting technologies that will shape the future of our business.