Video: Can a cheetah outrace a Formula E electric car?

Sadly, the endangered cheetah can't outrace climate change.

CREDIT: Formula E
CREDIT: Formula E

It’s a fast cat vs. a fast car in a sprint off.

The 100-meter dash was filmed to kick off this year’s Formula E racing championship, an all-electric car racing competition that starts Saturday in Hong Kong, and to draw attention to the plight of the endangered cheetah.

While the cheetah — the fastest land animal in the world with a top speed of 70 mph — can accelerate faster initially,  it can’t keep pace at the end with the Spark-Renault SRT_01E, driven by Jean-Éric Vergne.

Far more important than the race, though, “is to determine the outcome for the future for not only us, but the cheetah and other animals we share our planet with,” said Alejandro Agag, Formula E’s founder & CEO. Formula E released the film in advance of next week’s UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya to bring attention to the danger climate change poses to cheetah and other wildlife.

“We only have one planet and we must address the issues we currently face from the source and electric cars can play a key role in reducing C02 emissions worldwide,” said Agag, who launched Formula E to help speed the transition to electric cars, which are much more efficient than fossil-fuel powered cars and can run on pollution-free renewable energy.

Sadly, the cheetah can’t keep pace with climate change either. Kenyan researchers reported a few years ago that cheetahs are losing their ability to reproduce because of climate change, as warmer temperatures degrade their sperm.

It’s International Cheetah Day on Monday, December 4. Zoos and NGOs are hosting events around the country and the world, which you can find at InternationalCheetahDay.org.

If you can’t attend one, here’s a list of 10 things you can do to help raise awareness about this amazing endangered animal.