Do Formula E fans care about the environment?


Our study into the importance of environmental issues in motorsport

Robin Meakin, Head of Insights

Now in it’s fourth season, Formula E has quickly become firmly established in the motor-racing calendar. The concept of all-electric, single-seater racing came to life in 2012 to show the potential of an environmentally sustainable motorsport. Rapid advances in battery technology and the new car design for Season 5, first unveiled in January, herald even more exciting times for the sport. It’s no exaggeration to say that Formula E feels like the future.
Given the original premise of Formula E – to prove that motorsport has a role in a world where environmental issues are top of the agenda – a key question is therefore whether this environmental message is shared by the fans of Formula E. Put bluntly, do Formula E fans care about the environment?
We, at CSM, believe the answer is unequivocally ‘yes’.

We commission an annual research study among motorsport fans – the largest of its kind. In this, we survey 18,000 people aged 16+ from the 18 biggest motorsport markets globally. Our survey is representative of the adult population in each country in terms of gender and age. In our most recent survey, published earlier this year, we asked several questions about people’s broader attitudes away from sport. We know that sports fans don’t live in isolation from the world around them and we specifically wanted to know if there is a link between their attitudes and the sports they follow. In the case of Formula E, this would appear to be the case.
In our survey, we asked whether people agreed with the following statement: “Concern for the environment strongly influences the way I live my life”. We used a seven-point scale where people could ‘disagree strongly’ at one end or ‘agree strongly’ at the other. 

We found that 86% of Formula E fans (those who say they are ‘very interested’ in Formula E) agree with this statement. At the top end of the scale our data shows that Formula E fans are twice as likely to ‘agree strongly’ with this statement when compared to the general adult population. (see graph below)
Why is this important?
Firstly, it demonstrates a shared vision between a sport and its fans, one built around
the potential of a low-carbon future. To see a sport aiming to have a positive impact on both people and the planet is exciting. To see it connecting so comprehensively with like-minded fans is genuinely thrilling.
Secondly, our data shows that progressive brands that want to highlight their social and environmental credentials and connect with discerning consumers will find a large and receptive audience among Formula E fans.
The next challenge for Formula E is to win over people who are currently less concerned about the environment. Looking at what is in store for the sport, we are confident this challenge can be met.
Please get in touch if you want to know more about our data on Formula E fans and how we can help you learn more about the sport.