The NXT Gen Cup is working hard to bill itself as sustainable racing for the next generation and they have made their first step towards this by announcing their 2023 calendar, details of which you can find in this week’s Sustainable Motorsport Roundup.
In addition to this, I have details on the world’s first two-seater race car with advanced battery materials, a look at the EV powertrain found in the SCR1 Race Car, Michelin Motorsport’s work in sustainable tire technology, how F1 is trying to do sustainable fuels right, and much more.
I also have something you can do as an athlete in Every Little Thing Counts, more developments in green transportation for Getting to the Track Sustainably and more from The Big Picture in this week’s Sustainable Motorsport Roundup on Motorsport Prospects. It is green news racers can use.
Sustainable Motorsport News
In discussing their sustainability strategy, Motorsport UK reiterated their firm belief that motorsport can drive change in environmental sustainability. “Runicles responded directly, citing the progress that has been made over the past few years by the motorsport community. She continued by acknowledging that while implementing new measures can be difficult, it is also a valuable opportunity for clubs to engage with different audiences who want to become a part of a more sustainable sport. She also mentioned the work being undertaken by Motorsport UK to help clubs on their sustainability journeys, citing the governing body’s plans to launch a free carbon calculator tool for all clubs in Spring 2023.”
Sustainable Motorsport Tech
Envision Racing has debuted the world’s first two-seater electric racing car with the latest innovation in battery technology powered by a family of advanced cathode active materials from EV Metals Group that improve performance. “The new racing car’s batteries have about 20% greater energy density than some of the best batteries currently on the market which means a longer range between charges and a maximum output of 250 kilowatts, which is around 326 horsepower.” You can watch Brentford Football’s Ben Mee aboard the two-seater in a video from Sky Sports here.
Green Racing News explains how an electric motor works in Sports Car races.
The video above discusses how the EV powertrain of Scalar Performance‘s SCR1 Race Car is developed for motorsport.
Racer.com looks at the sustainability gains that Michelin has made with their racing tires. “When it comes to tires, Michelin has firmly laid down a marker, committing to 100 percent sustainability across the entire company by 2050. Integral to its mission are the enormous strides being made by Michelin Motorsport.”
Not to be outdone, Goodyear’s new tire is made from soybean oil, rice husks and pine resin. Goodyear’s contribution looks like it might be promisingly close to reality. At CES 2023, the company revealed a tire in which 90 percent of its components are materials that come from sustainable sources. Goodyear says there are 17 sustainable ingredients that include things like recycled polyester and plant-based components like soybean oil, rice husk waste, and “bio-renewable” pine tree resin. It also uses steel with “high recycled content” and “ISCC certified mass balance polymers from bio- and bio-circular feedstock.”
Italian electric sports car startup Automobili Estrema revealed their 2,040hp electric hypercar called the Fulminea (“Lightning Fast”), and their intention to beat the all-time EV record at the Nürburgring. “The Fulminea marks the beginning of a new generation of electric cars: a machine with all the characteristics of a race car: high performance, cutting-edge technology, and premium materials including the latest-generation carbon fiber. But with the big exception that instead of a combustion engine the Fulminea features a world’s first fully electric powertrain with innovative solutions: it is the first car in the world to use a “hybrid” battery pack that uses solid-state cells produced by ABEE (Avesta Battery Energy Engineering) and ultra-capacitors, elements that provide the energy boost needed to unleash the power of the four electric motors. The Initial production is underway and will be capped at 61 cars with a ticket price of 1.961.000 Euros.“
A new commercial relationship has been confirmed between DK Engineering and McMurtry Automotive. Under the new partnership, DK Engineering will act as McMurtry’s exclusive UK agent. As a developer of small and extremely powerful electric cars for both the road and the racetrack, McMurtry is focused on improving the performance of electric vehicles in terms of dynamics, speed and range.
Sustainable Racing Series News
The NXT Gen Cup have announced their calendar for the inaugural 2023 season. It will feature a total of six race weekends alongside the all-electric Scandinavian Touring Car Championship (STCC) on the best circuits Sweden has to offer. “We’ve got an intense schedule for our ground-breaking first NXT Gen Cup season on a strong selection of circuits which will provide our young talents a wide array of challenges and fantastic racing,” said Fredrik Lestrup, co-founder of NXT Gen Cup.
According to The Race, the Gen3 Formula E car has the potential to be at least five seconds quicker than the Gen2 model it’s replacing, but that might not be unlocked until the evolution version of the car comes into effect in 2025. Lucas di Grassi believes the design can reach far greater potential in its second era. The new Mahindra driver, who has often called for Formula E cars to be more radical in their design to showcase increased performance, felt the potential for the Gen3 car to “go five seconds quicker, is very easy” when evaluating its performance. He said the biggest constraint on the car’s current pace compared to the Gen2 design was “mainly because” the new Hankook tyres, which have been designed to a specification set by the FIA, “are very hard”.
The Autosport Podcast discusses Formula E’s Gen3 reboot. “In many ways it is a reboot for the ground-breaking series. Just before Christmas we dispatched our Formula E man Jake Boxall-Legge to Valencia for the pre-season test, to take a close look at the new generation. We dive into what is so special about the Gen3 cars, which drivers and teams are the ones to look out for this season plus is this the reset the series needs to reach the motorsport mainstream.”
Green Racing News previews Mclaren Racing’s first season racing in Formula E. “It’s a great opportunity for us,” Brown said. “Mercedes was choosing to get out of the sport and now we’re at the beginning of what is Gen3 Formula E, its third generation. We decided to enter because in a very short period of time, we saw the success of Extreme E for our fans, employees and partners and said ‘let’s double down,’ because sustainability is very important to us,”, said Brown.
Finally, Formula One chief technical officer Pat Symonds has explained that Formula One is waiting until 2026 to introduce sustainable fuels to ensure they are achieved in the right way. Symonds explained: “If you look at scope one and scope two emissions, we have a carbon footprint of just over a quarter of a million tonnes of CO2 equivalent – around 0.7 per cent of that comes from the cars. But it has a huge multiplier effect. There are two billion cars on the road that are burning gasoline or diesel. If we can make a drop-in fuel that is sustainable, that does [achieve] net zero CO2, then yes it’s great for us as a sport, but it’s something that can roll out and make a real difference.”
There are a lot of interesting details in the article related to freight logistics and regionalization of the calendar so I urge you to read the whole thing.
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.
Clothes For Good
Clothes For Good is an organization uses athletes to spread their mission of sustainable fashion. “Join the global team of EcoAthletes Champions and help us make our clothes a force for good. Your pledge will join theirs, and thousands of others, demonstrating the growing demand for sustainable fashion to media and major apparel brands around the world. Share the pledge with your friends and family. Together we can reduce the impacts to our climate from our closet and demonstrate the demand for sustainable clothing from the brands we love.”
You can get more information here.
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.
2023: The year sport strengthens its relationship with nature
Fiona Morgan: ‘Sport’s First Podium For The Planet’ (Sail GP)
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 Ground Transportation
- Are You AFEELA’n It? This Is the Electric Car Sony and Honda Are Working On
- Why We’re Not Afeelin’ Honda and Sony’s Afeela EV Concept
- Electricity price rise leads to increased rapid charging costs
- Lightyear Aims to Make Solar-Powered Cars Accessible With Lightyear 2
- Old cars are here to stay: We were promised cheaper motoring but electric cars cost more to charge than petrol
- Is Tesla ready for a turbulent year in the EV industry?
- EY’s Mobility Lens Forecaster shows EVs dominate automotive
- Mercedes-Benz to Build EV Charging Stations Worldwide
- The Expensive And Harmful Truth About Electric Vehicles
- 2023 Transportation Trends That Could Impact The Future Of Transportation
- Plug In, Turn On: New Electric Vehicles Coming In 2023
- How the Radical, Fuel-Efficient ‘Flying V’ Airplane Could Replace Jumbo Jets
- LanzaJet marks milestone at new SAF production plant
- Major US and European carriers sign long-term agreements to purchase half a billion gallons of SAF
- Reaching net zero by 2050 is going to be very challenging and very expensive, says IATA chief