• 2 days PDVSA Booted From Caribbean Terminal Over Unpaid Bills
  • 2 days Russia Warns Ukraine Against Recovering Oil Off The Coast Of Crimea
  • 2 days Syrian Rebels Relinquish Control Of Major Gas Field
  • 2 days Schlumberger Warns Of Moderating Investment In North America
  • 2 days Oil Prices Set For Weekly Loss As Profit Taking Trumps Mideast Tensions
  • 2 days Energy Regulators Look To Guard Grid From Cyberattacks
  • 2 days Mexico Says OPEC Has Not Approached It For Deal Extension
  • 2 days New Video Game Targets Oil Infrastructure
  • 2 days Shell Restarts Bonny Light Exports
  • 2 days Russia’s Rosneft To Take Majority In Kurdish Oil Pipeline
  • 3 days Iraq Struggles To Replace Damaged Kirkuk Equipment As Output Falls
  • 3 days British Utility Companies Brace For Major Reforms
  • 3 days Montenegro A ‘Sweet Spot’ Of Untapped Oil, Gas In The Adriatic
  • 3 days Rosneft CEO: Rising U.S. Shale A Downside Risk To Oil Prices
  • 3 days Brazil Could Invite More Bids For Unsold Pre-Salt Oil Blocks
  • 3 days OPEC/Non-OPEC Seek Consensus On Deal Before Nov Summit
  • 3 days London Stock Exchange Boss Defends Push To Win Aramco IPO
  • 3 days Rosneft Signs $400M Deal With Kurdistan
  • 3 days Kinder Morgan Warns About Trans Mountain Delays
  • 4 days India, China, U.S., Complain Of Venezuelan Crude Oil Quality Issues
  • 4 days Kurdish Kirkuk-Ceyhan Crude Oil Flows Plunge To 225,000 Bpd
  • 4 days Russia, Saudis Team Up To Boost Fracking Tech
  • 4 days Conflicting News Spurs Doubt On Aramco IPO
  • 4 days Exxon Starts Production At New Refinery In Texas
  • 4 days Iraq Asks BP To Redevelop Kirkuk Oil Fields
  • 5 days Oil Prices Rise After U.S. API Reports Strong Crude Inventory Draw
  • 5 days Oil Gains Spur Growth In Canada’s Oil Cities
  • 5 days China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal
  • 5 days UAE Oil Giant Seeks Partnership For Possible IPO
  • 5 days Planting Trees Could Cut Emissions As Much As Quitting Oil
  • 5 days VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs
  • 5 days Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 5 days Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
  • 5 days OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
  • 6 days U.S. Oil Production To Increase in November As Rig Count Falls
  • 6 days Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal
  • 6 days Disputed Venezuelan Vote Could Lead To More Sanctions, Clashes
  • 6 days EU Urges U.S. Congress To Protect Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 6 days Oil Rig Explosion In Louisiana Leaves 7 Injured, 1 Still Missing
  • 6 days Aramco Says No Plans To Shelve IPO
Alt Text

Chinese EV Boom Could Crash Oil Prices

Most oil majors acknowledge that…

Alt Text

Is Hydrogen Fuel As Dumb As Musk Thinks?

Hydrogen fuel cells have been…

Andrew Topf

Andrew Topf

With over a decade of journalistic experience working in newspapers, trade publications and as a mining reporter, Andrew Topf is a seasoned business writer. Andrew also…

More Info

From Formula1 To Formula-E: Car Racing Goes Electric

From Formula1 To Formula-E: Car Racing Goes Electric

Jeremy Clarkson may have something to say about it, but the testosterone and fossil-fueled sport of Formula 1 is apparently going green. The former Top Gear presenter would undoubtedly defend a sport in which 8,000 liters of fuel is burnt in a weekend, but as it turns out, Clarkson and other F1ers are dinosaurs: Formula 1 now has competition from Formula E, where, you guessed it, E is for electric.

It doesn't take a marketing genius to assume that, to a generation brought up with Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth, 20-odd combustion-engine cars whizzing around a track sucking gas at 375 km/h (233 mph) might appear, well, unseemly. Now there is actually an alternative. Today's EV technology has reached a point where electric cars are more than just fancy rides for planet-saving celebrities or those who can afford a Tesla.

While F1 cars have effectively been hybrids since 2009, in 2014 new rules were put in place that cut the amount of fuel used by a third, prompting changes in design. Last year the first Formula E championship kicked off in Beijing, the first of 10 cities to host races featuring high-performance EVs. Related: This Innovation Will Help U.S. Companies Win The Oil Price War

The teams, backed by “green” celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and Richard Branson, race Spark-Renault SRT_01E Formula E cars using technology from F1 teams McLaren and Williams. Unlike regular Formula 1, the cars do not refuel in pitstops; rather, the drivers swap vehicles due to current EV battery limitations. The cars all have an identical chassis and drivetrain, as well as a huge lithium-ion battery that makes up a third of the car's weight. The familiar roar of F1 engines is replaced by a high-pitched whistling sound, “a bit like a dentist's drill” described one journalist, covering the first Formula E race in the United States this past March in Miami.

Formula E cars reach a maximum speed of 150 mph, and drivers change vehicles half-way through when the battery in the first car starts to run out. Related: Does Fossil Fuel Divestment Make Sense?

The greening of motorsport isn't just confined to electric vehicles, either. In 2008 the world's first zero-emissions motorcycle race took place on the Isle of Man, UK, featuring electric bikes. A few years earlier, Dutch entrepreneurs built the world's first fuel-cell-powered go-kart, then raced it in the 2008 Formula Zero Championship, a race series consisting of six universities that competed on a 2-mile mobile race track.

Meanwhile NASCAR, yet another symbol of the combustion engine at the apex of its power, has made strides in making the sport more politically palatable. According to NASCAR Green, the sport has cut its carbon emissions by 20 percent through the use of biofuels, and a “significant number” of NASCAR tracks rely on solar power as an energy source. These include the 3MW solar farm at Pocono Raceway and a 9MW solar facility at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Related: Toyota’s Unique Investment Plan To Dominate The Green Car Sector

Technologies developed for Formula E are also finding their way into mainstream applications, possibly even a supermarket near you. Williams F1, the British Formula 1 motor racing team and constructor, in April “unveiled plans to fit aerofoils developed from racing cars to supermarket fridges so as to save energy, while a fuel-saving F1 flywheel is being tried out in buses. It is even supplying ecologically- correct supercars for the next Bond film,” reported The Telegraph.

The aerofoils redirect the flow of air to stop cold air from escaping from supermarket refrigerators into the aisles. Sainsbury's, the UK supermarket chain, has used the aerofoils to cut energy use by 30 percent, according to the Telegraph.

Whether Formula E garners the same global following as Formula 1 remains to be seen, but it is clear that the greening of motorsport is aimed at a new demographic where “green is sexy” and new, sustainable technologies are the way of the future. As Alain Prost of e.dams Renault put it, “F1 is for people over 40.”

By Andrew Topf of Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:

Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News