Sustainable motorsport is charging forward with an ever increasing array of technologies intended to reduce the carbon footprint of motorsport and in this edition of the Sustainable Motorsport Roundup I bring you a few.
This week I look at everything from new charging technology that could make electric endurance racing a reality to the very real issues facing F1 as they work towards reaching their Net Zero pledge in 2030.
All this and much more in this week’s Sustainable Motorsport Roundup.
Sustainable Motorsport News
Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the first sport facility to achieve organizational certification through the Council for Responsible Sport (Council). Organizational certification became available for the first time in August 2021. The new standard is based on the recognition of the core principles of power of sport, resolution of climate change, enablement of social justice and business of sport. In committing to the new framework, IMS implemented year-round tracking of environmental and social impacts for the more than 300 events hosted at IMS annually.
A Rivian R1T will be competing in the 2023 Pikes Peak International Hillclimb in June, an official entry list for the event has revealed and reported in Road & Track. “It’s not uncommon to see electric vehicles compete at Pikes Peak, as their instant torque provides excellent performance advantages over internal combustion engines, which struggle to make adequate power at the high elevation where the hill climb takes place. And as far as electric pickup trucks go, the R1T is the sportiest, most on-road capable we’ve ever driven. Even stock, we don’t think it would do too badly.”
Sustainable Motorsport Tech
The engineers at hofer powertrain, a technology and engineering partner of the automotive world, developed a pioneering battery technology equipped with extremely safe high-power battery cells that promise charging currents of up to 3.75 MW. What began as a research and development project “BlueFire” in 2019 is a groundbreaking new megawatt-class innovation with FlashCharge speeds for sprint and endurance e-motorsport. The hofer powertrain BlueFire battery demonstrated extremely high cycle stability. In less than 90 seconds, the battery could be recharged successfully from 5-85% S0C (State of Charge).
Ford will supply battery and hybrid technology under the new power unit regulations to Red Bull when it returns to Formula 1 in 2026. “Ford’s input is largely focused on the electrification aspects, but global director for Ford Performance Motorsports, Mark Rushbrook, says the main hub will be at Red Bull’s existing F1 campus to ensure the best possible collaboration.”
Vroom Magazine has tested the BSR 2.0 25+ kW power unit by Blue Shock Race with much enthusiasm. “The performance of the engine was in quality what we expected from an electric engine, but in quantity much more! In fact, the torque of electric engines is generally impressive, especially because it is there at almost any revs! On the 33kW power unit the 119 Nm torque was impressive. The additional weight of the kart compared to even a KZ (around 30 kg more) was not a big problem to push the kart out of any curve. With the chassis flatter on the asphalt compared to lighter go-karts, the torque manages to push the kart strongly along and out of any curve.”
In How do F1’s sustainability goals fit with a 23-race calendar?, Autsport speaks to F1’s Head of Sustainability Ellen Jones who is very open about the obstacles that F1 faces in reaching their goals but is nevertheless up to the challenge. She really gets into the details of what F1 is doing and how. It is a highly recommended read. “It doesn’t get bigger from an impact side, be it from people’s interests but also from people’s experience,” says Jones. “We race around the world. We have an important voice in showing what sustainability can look like in real life in the context of our events. That’s a great opportunity, but a lot of work.”
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.
- As a race driver, flying is often required and not optional. With Fly on SAF you can reduce your carbon footprint by replacing fossil fuel with SAF for your flight. Insert your travel itinerary and check out the possibilities on their website calculator. Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) reduces lifecycle CO2 emissions by 80% compared to fossil jet fuel. After flying less, SAF is the best solution to prevent new CO2 from entering the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels.
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.
- Since tomorrow is the Super Bowl, this link highlights all the green initiatives that organizers are involved in. “The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee and NFL Green work closely with local community organizations, parks, and recreation departments to plant trees and contribute to green spaces. Arizona residents are working hard to lighten the environmental impact of their activities. While you are here enjoying Super Bowl, here are ten things you can do to help; brought to you by the City of Phoenix, the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, and the National Football League.”
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 most 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 Ground Transportation
- AEHRA electric SUV makes its debut appearance in the UK
- Self-driving cars would be a climate disaster
- Is this the next great leap for internal combustion?
- Electric vehicles lose up to 30% range when temperatures dip below freezing, study finds
- Rolec and Monta to deliver 20,000 chargers
- Gridserve rolls-out new charging hubs
- EVs drive growth in new car market
- MFG to invest £50m in EV charging hubs in 2023
- Ford Europe’s 2030 All-Electric Target Poses Harsh Questions
- GM Not Interested In EV Price War, Mary Barra Says
- TravelCenters of America Enters Agreement with Electrify America to Expand Electric Vehicle Infrastructure
- Toyota shocks with CEO announcement that could indicate a stronger next-gen vehicle focus
- The race to make diesel engines run on hydrogen
- New year brings new agreements by airlines in Japan and Europe to purchase sustainable aviation fuel
- Emirates and industry partners conduct Boeing 777 demo flight using 100% SAF in one engine
- Fly on SAF
- Delta Air Lines’ new airline innovation lab aims to drive the sustainable future of flying
- Amex GBT integrates with CHOOOSE to enhance business air travel emissions data