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Press Release

DS Virgin Racing Launches Race Against Climate Change Initiative
Sir Richard Branson backs new sustainability campaign with first signature on online pledge.
Rocky Mountain Institute, climate change expert Professor Michael Mann, and “Before the Flood” Director Fisher Stevens join growing list of supporters.

December 1, 2017 –The DS Virgin Racing Formula E Team, in conjunction with Sir Richard Branson, the Virgin Group, the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and its partners, has today launched an innovative new initiative entitled the Race Against Climate Change (RACC).

The new campaign aims to accelerate the energy transition and help the world achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Accord (COP21), and was unveiled during a special live event held in the Formula E pit lane on the eve of the opening rounds to the new season in Hong Kong.

Inspired by the success of the team’s recent Innovation Summit in New York, the programme also aims to highlight the growing threat of climate change to an even wider audience through the global appeal of the fully-electric Formula E race series.

This is in addition to the scheme’s new online pledge, created for people to publicly show their support for the cause. Sir Richard Branson become the first to add his signature, which was quickly followed by a host of prominent environmentalists including world-leading climatologist Professor Michael Mann and Fisher Stevens, Director of Before the Flood starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Hosted by TV news correspondent Patrick Fok, the launch featured an address by DS Virgin Racing’s Team Principal Alex Tai before moving to an informative panel discussion addressing the key climate change issues effecting Asia and beyond. Speakers included Lena Hansen, Managing Director of RMI and Gavin Edwards, Director of Conservation at the World Wildlife Fund. This was followed by a special video message from Sir Richard Branson on his own recent climate change experiences.

Sir Richard Branson said: “As myself and countless others experienced earlier this year, man-made climate change is contributing to increasingly strong hurricanes causing unprecedented damage. The whole world should be scrambling to get on top of the climate change issue before it is too late – for this generation and those to come. No one person, government or business is going to solve this alone. We have to work together. Educating people is the first step to change and that’s where DS Virgin Racing’s Race Against Climate Change comes in. We want to highlight this campaign to an even wider audience and inspire race fans, those in the city’s we race in, governments and businesses to take positive action.”

Alex Tai said: “As well as being one of the founding and most successful teams in Formula E, we also see ourselves as much more than a race team. We care passionately about our planet which is why we’ve instigated this innovative new programme. Our team’s purpose is to ‘Power Innovation to Positively Impact Lives’, which is part of a broader team vision of using its platform to inform, inspire and deliver sustainable societies. What people have seen here today in Hong Kong is only the start. We have a lot more activity planned through the remainder of this season of Formula E and beyond.”

He added: “We’re very grateful to Sir Richard, the Rocky Mountain Institute and Michael Mann for their support and expertise, and of course Fisher Stevens, who’s film was also an inspiration for the programme.”

Jon Creyts, MD of RMI, said: “Our addiction to fossil fuels puts our planet and the people on it at risk. Tackling such an urgent and enormous challenge can feel daunting. Yet, the climate challenge is not only solvable, but also a huge economic opportunity that can benefit future generations and our own. The energy transition towards renewables, electric vehicles and energy efficiency is accelerating faster than ever before. This gives us hope that the problem can be solved we’re committed.”

Michael Mann said: “One of the greatest challenges in confronting climate change is getting people to recognise that it’s actually happening. It is having adverse impacts on us now, where we live, in profound ways. Initiatives like this help raise awareness to a wider audience. I couldn’t be prouder to be working with Sir Richard Branson and DS Virgin Racing and our other patterns on this critical outreach effort.”

Fisher Stevens added: “It’s great that my film has helped inspire this programme and I’m pleased to be able to show my support for this worthwhile cause.”

For more information on the DS Virgin Racing Formula E Team or to sign the pledge visit www.ds-virginracing.com/RACC

For further information please contact:
Tom Phillips, PR & Communications Manager, DS Virgin Racing E: tom.phillips@ds-virginracing.com // T: +44 (0) 7496 972965

About DS Virgin Racing

The DS Virgin Racing Formula E Team is one of the founding and leading outfits in the FIA Formula E Championship – the world’s first fully-electric single-seater racing series. Headed up by Team Principal Alex Tai and with the continued support of Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson, the team works in partnership with French luxury car manufacturer DS Automobiles, collaborating together in order to power innovation.

The team’s commercial headquarters are based in London, whilst it’s operational arm is centred at new state-of-the-art facilities at Silverstone, both overlapping with DS Automobiles’ facilities in Satory, France – part of the PSA Group’s Centre of Excellence.

Now entering its fourth season, the team remains one of the most successful on the grid. From its debut season in 2014/2015, the squad has secured an impressive 467 points, five wins, 13 podiums, six poles, five fastest laps and nine FanBoosts from its 33 race starts. It is also one of only three teams to have recorded victories in every Formula E season to date.

Meanwhile, Virgin Group is a leading international investment group and one of the world's most recognised and respected brands. Conceived in 1970 by Sir Richard Branson, the Virgin Group has gone on to grow successful businesses in sectors including mobile telephony, travel & transportation, financial services, leisure & entertainment and health & wellness.

For further information visit www.ds-virginracing.com

About DS AUTOMOBILES

A French brand born in Paris, DS was founded on 1 June 2014. Its ambition is to embody the French know-how of luxury in its cars. Driven by its outstanding heritage and avant-garde spirit, DS perpetuates the values of innovation and distinction inherited from the first DS, launched in 1955.

Designed for customers looking for a means to express themselves as individuals, the DS Collection comprises DS 3, DS 3 CABRIO, DS 4, DS 4 CROSSBACK, DS 4S, DS 5, DS 5LS, DS 6 and completed with DS 7 CROSSBACK. The models in the DS range stand apart through their avant- garde design, refinement and attention to detail, advanced technology and dynamic serenity.

Presented at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, DS 7 CROSSBACK, the SUV by DS featuring Parisian- style innovation and savoir-faire, ushers in the second generation of DS models. With the DS 7 CROSSBACK La Première limited edition model, forward thinkers can reserve their car online or at a DS Store or DS Salon, and be the first to get behind the wheel. Committed to high-performance hybrid and electric cars, the Brand will launch the DS 7 CROSSBACK equipped with E-Tense, the hybrid powertrain by DS, in 2019.
DS models are available from DS Stores, DS Salons and a selection of other dedicated spaces within the Citroën network. DS also has a flagship store, DS WORLD PARIS. DS represents a brand experience that goes beyond the products to include ONLY YOU, a collection of exclusive services showcased at the 2016 Paris Motor Show.

Follow all DS news on www.DSautomobiles.com // @DS_OfficialFollow

About the FIA Formula E Championship

The FIA Formula E Championship is the world’s first fully-electric single-seater racing series, competing on the streets against the backdrop of some of the most iconic cities - including Hong Kong, Marrakesh, Paris, Berlin, New York and Montreal. The championship represents a vision for the future of the motor industry, serving as a platform to showcase the latest innovations in electric vehicle technology and alternative energy solutions. Future seasons will see the regulations open up further allowing manufacturers to focus on the development of motor and battery components, which in turn will filter down to everyday contemporary electric road vehicles.