Envision Virgin Racing FE owner joins coronavirus relief effort

The majority owner of the Envision Virgin Racing Formula E team has set up a face mask manufacturing centre and donated over £5million to combat the spread of COVID-19

Established in 15 days, the Envision Smile Manufacturing Centre has been in operation since 1 March to produce and donate 100,000 face masks a day.

All of the masks will be donated to schools, communities and businesses in the most affected areas of China in an effort to prevent the continued spread of the novel coronavirus.

Of the 200,000 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed worldwide, more than 80,000 of them have been recorded in China.

Lei Zhang, CEO of the Envision Group and the FE team owner, said: "Envision's employees have overcome enormous difficulties to enable production to begin as scheduled at the new mask factory.

"All masks produced at the facility will be donated to help accelerate the resumption of work and life.

"When confronting challenges from wind, rain and the epidemic, rather than just crouch in a corner, we choose to awaken people's hope with a smile.

"We aim to do more than just deliver masks.

"We aim to deliver hope and help people smile once again.

"We truly hope to see everyone 'smile after the rain'."

Masks will also be donated to Japan and South Korea among other locations to help contain the virus.

The technology company has also donated the equivalent of £5.5m in its response.

According to a statement from the team, "in line with Envision Group's 'challenging spirit' ethos, the new facility, along with the sourcing of the raw materials, was operational within two weeks, with the centre also far surpassing the government's cleanliness standards for mask production."

Envision Virgin Racing FE driver Sam Bird won the opening race of the 2019-20 season in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.

The customer team currently occupies seventh in the teams' standings, one place behind Audi, which provides its powertrain.

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