If you are a club racer or track day participant and you are wondering how you fit in with today’s emerging electrified racing scene, this edition of the Sustainable Motorsport Roundup is for you.
There are some exciting developments and suggestions on how you can participate with an electric club racer as well as what needs to be done so that you can bring your electric car to the track.
I also look at the latest developments in sustainable motorsport at both ends of the motorsport spectrum. At the one end I present you with an independent report on sustainability in F1, Carbon Positive Motorsport’s exciting new collaboration and NIO Formula E’s racing HQ at Silverstone. At the other end I show you how a cool little electric single-seater set a 0-62 MPH world record.
All this plus Every Little Bit Counts, The Big Picture and Getting to the Track Sustainably. Oh yes, you also get to hear the DTM Electric at speed on the Red Bull Ring. It sounds awesome!
Welcome to the world of sustainable motorsport at Motorsport Prospects!
Sustainable Motorsport News
Electric Racing for the Rest of Us
The focus of electric racing is currently on the elite of motorsport, whether that be Formula E, ETCR, Nitro RX or the ERA Championship. There is not nearly as much talk about the needs of the track day enthusiast or club racer. Here are three articles that tackle the issue.
- PRI Magazine has a great profile on Entropy Racing and their Entropy EVSR which is designed for club sports car racing. “A full day and 35 pit-stop battery swaps later, Entropy Racing of Sacramento, Pennsylvania, has done what has never been done before: “Run a significant endurance race at pace,” beamed owner Charlie Greenhaus, “with live stops in pit lane to change batteries.” The team finished 29th out of 37 starters in last year’s endurance race, despite a half-hour layover caused by motor-cooling issues, which the team has since resolved.”
- On the Stuttcars site, Porsche Taycan 4S owner Terence W discusses the current realities of racing a Porsche EV at a track day event and what needs to change to make the experience a more realistic and enjoyable prospect. “What about something for the rest of us? You know—the ladies and gents who’d like to bring their own Porsche EV road car to the racetrack and partake in an HPDE or lapping day.”
- And what about if you want to convert an ICE vehicle to electric for track days and the like? PRI Magazine looks at the electric conversion market to see where things are at. “Although the majority of the focus in the ICE to EV conversion market is currently aimed at street applications, more and more teams are starting to take notice of what the tech is capable of. “I think you have to approach this from the requirements of the discipline,” said Michael Bream of EV West, San Marcos, California. “There are situations where an electric isn’t going to stand up against its gasoline counterpart right now. But you also have to consider the fact that the record at Pikes Peak is currently held by an electric vehicle.”
More Sustainable Motorsport News
- I mentioned a few weeks ago in the Sustainable Motorsport Roundup how the DTM was experimenting with how their new Electric DTM car will sound like on the track. In the video above, you can watch (and hear) Sophia Floersch take the DTM Electric car for a spin at the Red Bull Ring. The footage starts at around the 2:38 mark and the video is in German. Sounds great to me!
- Carbon Positive Motorsport and Greenville Energy will partner in a unique collaboration with Highland Carbon to investigate and develop new projects to benefit motorsport, both in the UK and overseas. “The collaboration between Greenville, Carbon Positive Motorsport, and their exclusive offsetting provider, Highland Carbon, will include high quality, rewilding-based woodland carbon code projects in the future utilising Greenville’s non-productive land, and the potential use of Carbon Credits from Greenville’s waste to energy business.” You can read more about Carbon Positive Motorsport in my interview with founder Paul Glass here.
- Green Racing News reports that sustainability ratings agency Standard Ethics has analyzed the sustainability status of Formula 1. “The research confirms that the path towards Sustainability is already being taken. While there already appears to be a high level of attention paid to crucial issues such as human rights – both within the teams and in their supply chains – there is still room for improvement. For example, by increasing the transparency and accessibility of corporate documents on their websites; by preparing and publishing governance tools (such as the Code of Ethics) that are in line with international guidelines; by setting and making public specific ESG objectives with which are recognized by the main supranational bodies (UN, OECD and EU); and by adopting extra-financial reporting in line with global standards.” You can read the full report and the methodology that they used here.
- In the video above, watch this tiny EV Formula Car set a 1.46-second 0-62-MPH World Record.
- In the video above, Swiss sustainable lightweighting company, Bcomp, is now supplying its high-performance natural fibre technologies to HWA AG – development partner of Mercedes-AMG – for the new front bumpers on Mercedes-AMG GT4 race cars.
- The Silverstone Park website takes a look inside EV manufacturer NIO’s Formula E base at Silverstone Park. “It is about to celebrate the first anniversary inside its 12,401 sq ft property at Silverstone Park which houses its race team and is packed with innovation in race car design, engineering and sustainability.”
- In the video above, Business Green takes a look at Formula E.
- Electric kart manufacturer Blue Shock Race is expanding rapidly globally and looking towards an IPO. “In 2022, in the first half of the year, BSR already surpassed all the indicators of 2021 by delivering more than 260 units to 32 countries with a turnover exceeding 2 million Euros till Q3. The goal in 2022 is to reach a turnover of 4-5M Euros. BSR has been able to increase its turnover 10x in the times of Covid and we are sure that the current situation in the world is an opportunity that BSR must use to the maximum.”
Sustainable Motorsport Tech
- Green Racing News reports on how Chinese manufacturer NIO is using Formula E technology to support NIO’s new projects in electromobility. The company presented three new EV models based on its NIO NT2 platform; the ET7, EL7 and ET5 that will be available along with subscription packages to encourage consumer transition to electric vehicles. “The company confirmed its commitment to increase its R&D capacity in Europe. In July, NIO opened an ‘Innovation Center’ in Berlin, with a plant in Hungary and growing groups of engineers based at its R&D and design facilities in Oxford and Munich.”
- The engineering team behind electric karting series Total Karting Zero explain how they maintain parity amongst the karts and their post event processes. “The efficiency of any mechanical system is never going to be identical however,the power output of electric motors is a lot more controllable than petrol engines: petrol engines have a lot of moving parts compared to electric motors that only have one moving part, reducing the number of variances and making them easier to control. This means that the parity between power units is much higher with electric and they operate within tighter power tolerances of each other compared to petrol engines.”
- At the Professional MotorSport World Expo taking place on November 9, 10, 11, 2022 at the Köln Messe in Cologne, Germany, one of the topics will be the road map to sustainable manufacturing in motorsport. The presentation, by Andy Morley of Hewland will, “review and discuss the implementation of sustainable manufacturing practices in motorsport transmission manufacturing. Review work already undertaken with the support of Warwick Manufacturing Group to establish and benchmark the carbon footprint of a GT3 transmission. Hewland launched the largest LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) with WMG reviewing over 400 components’ origin and carbon footprint. In addition, review the drivers behind Hewland acquiring ISO:14001 and review the critical contributors to carbon footprint and what actions on Hewland’s sustainability road map will ensure sustainability is at the forefront of manufacturing in the decade ahead.”
- It appears that DS Techeetah is set to exit Formula E as the series organizers appear to have confirmed DS Techeetah’s exit from the all-electric series by stating only 11 teams will compete next season. “While there has been no official announcement from either the series or the team, Formula E has revealed there will be one fewer team from 2023.”
- Formula E has seen its cumulative media consumption grow 20 per cent year-on-year (YoY) to reach 381 million total viewers. “The series has also revealed that viewership of its live races also grew to a record high of 216 million, a ten per cent YoY increase. Formula E attributes this increase to three particular areas: scheduling consistency across the season, the standard of racing and its new qualifying format.”
- The Swedish Motorsport Federation (SBF) has granted NXT Gen Cup the official Swedish Junior Title status for its inaugural season in 2023. “The groundbreaking and innovative NXT Gen Cup is just right for the development and growth of Swedish junior racing and we are delighted to start our cooperation with them ahead of 2023,” said Anna Nordkvist, managing director of SBF. ”The entire world is moving to electrification and this is obviously including motorsport on all levels, including junior racing. We have no doubt that the juniors will get a solid platform for their future careers via NXT Gen Cup.”
- The World Touring Car Championship in its current format will be ending after the 2022 season and will instead focus on a more sustainable one-off annual event from 2023. “Last year, when we announced the extension of our long-term partnership with the FIA to promote the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup for the mid-term, we did so with the aim of making WTCR even more environmentally sustainable as part of our roadmap to deliver more sustainable motorsport,” Ribeiro said in a statement. “The introduction of 100% sustainable fuel was central to this. Unfortunately, it has become apparent that 100% fossil-free fuel is not yet compatible with the production engines used in the TCR category because it puts too great a demand on mechanical components. With more and more corporate sponsors not wishing to be associated with a category that does not use fossil-free fuel, we have very real concerns that this will have a negative impact on WTCR grid numbers next season, which have already been compromised by the global health pandemic, the war in Ukraine and weakened economic outlook. A future one-off annual event will help to address these concerns.”
- As part of the announcement above, Discovery Sports Events made it clear that nothing changes in 2023 for FIA ETCR. “Nothing changes and for 2023 FIA ETCR will continue as an FIA World Cup for touring cars across a multi-event format and will be a priority for DSE. Those electric cars are real racing beasts that deliver exciting racing. The presentation of the category is very modern and the format has been endorsed by top international touring car drivers. FIA ETCR is all about genuine racing and sustainability, two key assets to look positively into the future.”
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.
- One Tree Planted presents you with the opportunity to make your contribution to change with 22 ways that you can help the environment in 2022. “Small acts of environmental stewardship are a fantastic way to make a difference over time. If you’re open to learning new ways to fight climate change and work towards a greener future, check out our long list below to learn new ways that you can help the environment this year!“
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.
- The Sport Positive Summit recently concluded and the Green Sports Blog has highlights from both days.
- The Sustainability Report looks at whether sport should address Scope 3 carbon emissions and, if so, where does it start? “The general consensus at last week’s Sport Positive Summit was that, yes, sport needs to take responsibility for its suppliers, fan travel and other indirect emissions. In this week’s interview, Fiona Morgan, director of purpose and impact at SailGP and one of the voices encouraging sport to step up on Scope 3, explains how her organisation is making inroads.”
- British Cycling has faced criticism from environmental groups after announcing an eight-year partnership with energy company Shell UK. “The governing body said the deal, which begins this month and runs until the end of 2030, will accelerate its path towards net zero, but the announcement sparked a torrent of complaints from members on social media, with many saying they would cancel their subscriptions. At a time when sustainability within cycling has become a huge talking point, British Cycling’s decision to partner with a major oil and gas producer, whose record on environmental issues has been repeatedly criticised, was labelled ‘greenwashing’.”
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.
- Last August, Team Penske showcased the Freightliner eCascadia at Electric Island. “Electric Island is one of the fastest charging stations in the world, recharging the batteries that allow these heavy-duty semis to travel up to 230 miles with heavy loads, depending on conditions. It can be charged to 80 percent battery capacity (the recommended charge percentage) in 90 minutes, making it a truck suited for regional and local runs.”