Following the launch of Diamond Races, the Isle of Wight has attracted interest from technology businesses looking for locations in the UK. This is being credited to the close links that exist between motorsport and electric vehicle (EV) technology.
3 times British Touring Car Champion, Matt Neal, is one of the main movers behind Diamond Races and works closely with a number of EV businesses.
“Motorsport is moving rapidly along a path towards more environmentally-friendly power sources. It is constantly innovating at the leading edge of hybrid and electric vehicle development.
“The Isle of Wight’s commitment to the Diamond Races has really caught the attention of a number of people currently looking at UK production facilities and what a base on the Island could offer them.”
One example is Electra Meccanica, a Canadian company that aims to revolutionise personal transport and has ambitions to expand its operation in the UK.
“I have a connection with Electra Meccanica and was delighted to put forward the Isle of Wight as an option for a potential new facility in the UK. The company builds some of the most innovative and exciting new electric vehicles available and in many ways, they would really suit the Island. It could be an ideal fit.”
Almost overnight, Diamond Races has raised the profile of the Isle of Wight in the EV sector and has changed people’s perception of it as a place to do business. This view is shared by Steven Holbrook, Chief Executive of the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce. He says:
“The Isle of Wight has a long history of technical innovation. Motorsport is immediately proving to be a catalyst and clearly changing how investors are looking at the Island. They are now seeing our potential as a hub for future technologies, which could yield a valuable source of sustainable new jobs for Islanders.”
Organisers of the Diamond Races have already expressed an interest in demonstrating electric racing bikes at the event in 2021.
“Every year the TT Zero category at the Isle of Man produces a showcase for electrically powered machines. The performance of these bikes is beyond impressive. “If we continue to emphasise the linkages between EV technology, motorsport and the Isle of Wight, it can only be good for the Island’s economy and environment.”
Currently, there are 3 EV companies that have expressed an interest in the Isle of Wight and discussions are now being taken forward with the Isle of Wight Council and the Solent LEP.
Chief Executive of Diamond Races, Paul Sandford concluded:
“Having people of Matt’s calibre involved with our event is one of our greatest assets. It demonstrates the strength and depth of the Diamond Races team and its potential to bring future prosperity to this island that goes beyond the motorsport.”