As Formula E begins its 10th season this month, it faces several growing pains as it seeks to balance its mission of electric mobility with becoming a competitive race series.
While Formula E is in the spotlight, I have plenty of other sustainable motorsport news this week including a new hybrid-powered Prius endurance race car, details of a new fuel cell-equipped race car platform and how BMW is transferring hybrid tech from their race to their road cars.
All this and more in this week’s edition of the Sustainable Motorsport Roundup on Motorsport Prospects. Your source for sustainable high performance motorsport news.
Sustainable Motorsport News
Right Hub have a number of sustainable motorsport resources that may be of interest to you including their “Sustainable Motorsport and Automotive Industry. Making the difference!” Case studies Edition 2023.
You can download it here.
Sustainable Motorsport Tech
This occurred after I took my Christmas break but Toyota entered a new hybrid-powered car based on the latest Prius into the last round of the 2023 Idemitsu Super Endurance 600 at Thailand’s Buriram Circuit.
The No. 264 Prius CNF-HEV GR Concept has been entered into Saturday’s 10-hour race by Toyota SUPER GT outfit Rookie Racing, alongside the hydrogen-powered GR Corolla H2 Concept and the GR86 CNF Concept that raced in Super Taikyu this season. Like the GR86 CNF concept, the new Prius runs on carbon-neutral fuel, complemented by a hybrid system. The entry is backed by CP Group, described by Toyota as a “partner working to achieve a carbon-neutral society in Thailand”.
PMW Magazine looks in depth at WAE’s fuell cell equipped EVRh.
“In 2022, UK-based WAE, now owned by the Fortescue mining concern, debuted its EVR concept – a modular high-performance BEV platform (see Flexible performer, September 2022, p14*) intended to provide vehicle manufacturers with a flexible basis for sporting EVs. Now, the company has taken the concept a step further with the EVRh, a version equipped with a fuel cell.”
The IMSA website looks at how the hybrid technology that BMW is racing in its BMW M Hybrid V8 racing car crosses over to the manufacturer’s BMW XM Label SUV.
“XM is a luxury SUV with all the accoutrements, but it has so much power,” said Neil Moreno, XM campaign manager in marketing for BMW North America. “The idea was we can take a car off the factory line and race it up Pikes Peak. We thought, ‘That’s cool … let’s see what it does!”
A lot of Formula E news this week as the series gets ready for its first race of the year in Mexico this month.
The series has signed a number of broadcast deals in Europe including in Germany and Austria plus France and Italy. But its move to pay TV in other jurisdictions are impacting the series as it tries to get in front of as many people as possible.
Last but not least, the series is “seeking urgent clarification” that the Hyderabad E-Prix will take place. “Following a recent official communication received from the new Government of Telangana, Formula E is seeking urgent clarification of their contractual commitments under the agreement and how it could impact the Hyderabad race. Based on the content of the letter received, Formula E is concerned the race will not be able to go ahead as planned.”