Scalar Performance has introduced what they call the first all-electric amateur touring race car. It was introduced last week at SEMA and it is just one of the highlights in this edition of the Sustainable Motorsport Roundup.
In addition to the announcement from Scalar, Ken Block explains what a challenge Electrikhana has been, the World Rally Championship is almost done with their future sustainability roadmap, Honda starts testing their IndyCar hybrid power unit in earnest, the potential that Formula E’s Gen3 cars may be more troublesome than anticipated and pictures of the first track run of the BRSCC’s Formula Foundation-E.
I also have my regular Every Little Bit Counts and The Big Picture columns as well as some fascinating sustainable transportation developments in Getting to the Track Sustainably.
All this and more in this week’s Sustainable Motorsport Roundup.
Sustainable Motorsport News
- Scalar Performance has unveiled the first all-electric amateur touring race car, the SCR1 at SEMA in Las Vegas. Designed and built by tech entrepreneur, Brian Bourne, and car builder, Joel Fallaise, in collaboration with engineering partners Hypercraft and Ettractive, the SCR1 is the first club racing electric vehicle approved by the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) for road racing in their Super Touring Series.
- The SCR1 has been engineered for motorsport to provide drivers with the same feeling of a mid-engine gas powered race car with similar weight distribution, while adding new technologies such as telemetry and driver data. The Hypercraft 800V powertrain provides an exhilarating 345 lb-ft of torque coming from its continuous 245kW (328hp equivalent) all-electric motor capable of a top speed of 165mph and 0-60mph in an estimated 3.9 seconds for the best driving experience. Though impressive, this car has been designed for lap times and not spec sheet numbers.
- The first edition of the SCR1 will be limited to ten Founder Edition race cars ready to hit the track in summer 2023. For additional information and to become one of the first ten owners, visit the website www.scalarperformance.com.
Sustainable Motorsport Tech
- In an interview with The Drive, Ken Block says that the Electrikhana was the gnarliest thing he has ever done. “The Head-Hoonigan-in-Chief and I sat down at his Utah office and talked about those challenges, as well as the electrification of Gymkhana, Audi surprising him with the prototype, the learning curve to how the Hoonitron behaved, how Las Vegas wasn’t the easiest place to shoot, and why the Hoonitron is wilder than the Hoonicorn. EVs might not be the reason people have tuned into the Gymkhana videos in the past, but Block hopes that’s set to change.” For those who have not seen the footage, you can watch it here.
- A few weeks back I posted a video in the Sustainable Motorsport Roundup of the new Dodge Charger Daytona SRT EV and its “Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust” system. Personally I thought it sounded cool but a lot of people clearly disagree and Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis knows it as he felt that the difficulty in recording the sound was part of the problem during the public reveal. “There is no doubt that some things sound better in person than in recording, but I don’t think Kuniskis would be talking about microphones and PAs if Dodge had just revved a real V-8 a couple of times in the same room. In any event, Kuniskis said that Dodge is still working on the sound of the system. “Did we crack the code on wide-open motors? Not yet. But we’ve got two years,” Kuniskis said. “We have changed the sound of that car 1000 times and we will continue to.”
- The FIA says that the future roadmap for the World Rally Championship is 70% complete. “We have done a lot of canvassing of manufacturers that are involved in WRC, we have spoken to some manufacturers that are involved in rally generally. We have also had some discussions with manufacturers that are not involved with WRC to try and understand the direction the automotive world is going in when we talk about vehicles that are relevant to WRC. There is a lot of feedback and opportunities, it is clear that nobody has a very fixed view or one view of what the future is going to look like.”
- The NTT IndyCar Series broke new ground recently with the successful completion of its first 2024 hybrid engine package track test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. “The two-day outing was first with the full energy recovery system made by MAHLE installed in Honda’s test car, which features a new and more powerful up-stroked 2.4-liter twin-turbo V6 internal combustion engine manufactured by Honda Performance Development. The test follows a late March run on the IMS road course where Chevrolet and Honda debuted their 2.4L engines minus the ERS units, which weren’t ready for on-track activities.”
- Despite a record breaking season ratings-wise, Formula E is struggling technically with their new Gen 3 era cars. “That is because behind the scenes at present there is a huge amount of discord and frustration over how the Gen3 project is being managed and actioned. If Gen3 were a patient in a hospital right now it would have multiple health concerns that require some emergency procedures.” Despite this challenge, Porsche have recently performed the final tests on their 99X Electric Gen3 race car.
- And what is it like driving one of these Gen3 cars? Current Formula E driver, Sebastien Buemi describes what he REALLY thinks of the new Gen 3 race car in the MotorMouth Podcast video above.
- Icon Magazine chats with Formula E race driver Mitch Evans about the competition in Formula E and what it is like driving an electric race car. “From a competition point of view, it’s pretty much the same as Formula 1. I would even go as far as to say that Formula E is more difficult. The reason why I say that is because, across the grid, the cars are pretty even because of the regulations. The drivers in the field are a lot closer in talent, too,” says Evans.
- IMSA is working to finalize elements of hybrid usage in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTP class, including the potential of full-electric driving on pit lane and/or mandatory ‘EV launches’ out of the pit box. “IMSA technical director Matt Kurdock told Sportscar365 that mandating so-called EV launches where GTP cars exit the pit box on full electric power, has been under consideration.”
- Manufacturers also told Sportscar365 that the IMSA GTP hybrid platform plays an important role in manufacturers’ future production plans. “As testing continues, company executives have noticed an uptick in interest in their brands through the new technology and bold designs of the new cars. Cadillac, which announced in September that it plans an all-electric lineup of production cars by 2030, sees the hybrid racing technology as a suitable fit in its future production plans.”
- A few weeks back on the Sustainable Motorsport Roundup I mentioned the announcement of the new Formula Foundation-E single-seater category. The car had its first public run during the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch and here are a few pictures via the BRSCC of the electric racer in action.
Every Little Bit Counts
Every Little Bit Counts looks at small steps that you can take to decrease your environmental impact and increase your sustainability.
- While this focuses a lot on Quantas, why it pays to be a more conscious traveller gives you some helpful suggestions to lessen your travel impact as you plan your vacation during the off season.
The Big Picture
In The Big Picture, I look beyond motorsport to see what other sports are doing in their sustainability journey as well as the issue of sustainability generally. Hopefully this will act as a catalyst for change in the motorsport ecosystem as it demonstrates that in many ways, all sport shares some commonalities that can be tackled with achievable, measurable sustainability practices.
- At the Sport Positive Summit 2022, Melissa Wilson, Jeremy Casebeer, Tayshan Hayden-Smith and Jamie Farndale explored the athlete’s evolving role in sport’s climate movement. “Sport revolves around athletes, not least as primary vessels for communicating about issues like climate change. Athletes hold a majority share of global cultural influence at over 50%. Moreover, a survey conducted by World Athletics found that 70% of athletes are concerned about climate change, making the move from care to action upon this tremendous platform one of the key issues in the sector.”
- Are Formula E and SailGP double-header weekends in the same city practical? This and many other collaborative solutions to the climate crisis were also discussed during one of the panel discussions at the Sport Positive Summit 2022. “Collaboration was the overarching theme at Wembley Stadium in early October, with Sport Positive participants acknowledging that we cannot act in isolation when it comes to climate change. In the words of Julia Pallé, Formula E’s sustainability director, while sport is an industry that “is, by definition, about competition”, organisations have to collaborate to fend off a common threat.”
- The LEED Silver Nationals Park baseball stadium in Washington, D.C., was one of the early examples of how sports and entertainment venues can go green. Athletic facilities, their teams and leagues, fan demand and even musical performers can further influence the movement for cleaner, healthier and more environmentally sustainable buildings, events and communities. There are now over 100 LEED-certified collegiate and professional arenas or stadiums around the world, which have met rigorous design, construction and operations criteria, and more are rising to the challenge of sustainable operations, thanks to the Green Sports Alliance (GSA) and its Play to Zero program in partnership with GBCI’s Arc platform.
Getting to the Track Sustainably
Getting to the Track Sustainably is my occasional column on developments in sustainable transportation that could have some application to motorsport. Since the majority of carbon emissions come from logistics and transportation, this topic is of utmost importance as motorsport works to make itself more sustainable. Here are some articles you may find of interest.
Sustainable Land Transportation
- Hopium unveils ‘first’ hydrogen-powered sedan
- Hopium signs provisional order agreement for 10,000 of its hydrogen-powered sedans
- The 2024 Cadillac Celestiq’s Horizontal Battery Packs Are the Secret to Its Low-Slung Looks
- The 2023 Lotus Eletre Electric SUV Marks a New Era With Up to 905 HP
- Toyota scrambles for EV reboot with eye on Tesla
- Here’s What to Expect from the Sony-Honda EVs
- Europe’s Electric Revolution Demands Affordability, But Paris Car Show Won’t Oblige
- Tesla’s Next Car Could Be Significantly Cheaper Than the Model 3
- Magna’s eBeam Axle Hopes to Turn Today’s Pickups Into EVs
- ‘Our Goal Is To Achieve Carbon Neutrality, Not Build EVs’: Honda CEO
- ‘UK’s fastest EV charger’ installed at GRIDSERVE’s Braintree site
- Europe Effectively Bans Sales of New Gas- and Diesel-Powered Cars by 2035
- EU ignores potential of climate-friendly eFuels for new passenger
- cars and vans
- Europeans, Priced Out Of Mainstream Electric Cars, Won’t Embrace Weird Options With Lower Safety Standards
- Electric Cars Are Already Cheaper Than Gasoline Ones; Financing Companies Are Trying To Show That
- Tesla’s Electric Semi Is Almost Here, But Elon Musk Hasn’t Shared Some Heavy Details
- Meet the “Lightyear 0”: The Most Aerodynamic Car in the World
- Peugeot, Citroën and Opel hydrogen-powered vans to be mass produced
- Solaris receives order for 25 hydrogen buses destined for Poznań, Poland
- Hyundai to Provide Eco-Friendly Vehicles Fleet for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
- Nice Airport to reduce long-term energy consumption
- German and New Zealand airports partner on hydrogen developments
- Time for EU to act on airline emissions as UN aviation agency’s climate ambitions take a nosedive
- European airlines misleading customers with claims of “carbon-neutral” flights – study
- Boeing May Not Roll Out A New (Potentially Autonomous) Airliner Until 2035; Promises To Return Cash To Investors In 2026
- Zero Petroleum moves towards further fuelling activity on first flight anniversary
- Aviation Sustainability, Our Future