At COP27, Formula E sets a fast pace in the race against climate change

 

 

As world leaders gathered in Egypt for COP27 to find ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally in an equitable way, Envision Racing’s Race Against Climate Change convened for a high-level discussion about the progress being made by the motorsport industry and the positive role of Formula E.

Meeting in Sharm El Sheikh, Sylvain Filippi, Envision’s Managing Director and CTO, was joined by Barbara Silva, FIA’s social responsibility manager, and Julia Pallé, sustainability director of Formula E. The lively discussion covered a broad range of topics, from the importance of technology transfer to advances in the development of batteries.

But the big question for the panel was whether the race to an electric future is being won. Sylvain was in no doubt that huge progress is being made, with Envision Racing and the Formula E FIA Championship playing a significant part in positive developments in battery technology and innovation.

“If you look at what we have done in eight years, the car we are about to race next year is more than three times the power of the car seven years ago,” said Sylvain. “It is much lighter, it is smaller and it compares very favourably to the best racing cars you can think of in terms of performance.

“If you had told that to anyone seven years ago, they wouldn’t have believed you.”

Technological progress on the race track is also evident in the electric and hybrid road cars that motorists are now able to buy. “The road map towards electrification is accelerating even faster than we thought,” said Sylvain.

 

Julia explained that the mission of the Formula E championship is to demonstrate that there are solutions to fight climate change which allow you drive a good car while still making the best choices for the environment.

“Formula E is a fantastic platform to accelerate and push messages to the millions of fans who are watching the sport, because there’s many more people watching sport than reading science or able to understand an IPCC report,” she said.

It is vital for the automotive industry to play its part in sustainability, she said, with transport responsible for between one-third and a quarter of carbon emissions globally. “Motor sport is demanding but also so innovative, agile and creative. We can find those solutions that will benefit the rest of society.”

Barbara highlighted the importance of technology transfer, and the impact on climate change being made by engineers hard at work in the garage on making racing cars more efficient, both in Formula E and in Formula 1. Her recent report on technology transfer had identified a broad range of applications for motor sport technology in other areas of our life; from efficient refrigeration in UK supermarkets to advanced carbon fibre which has reduced the weight of passenger seats in commercial aircraft.

“What this report shows us is that when commit the right people towards an issue and we apply the processes that we have, with our energy efficiency heart, then we can really be very much part of the solution when it comes to decarbonisation,” said Barbara.

There no longer was any real debate about the sustainable future of the automotive sector being electric, said Sylvain. “Everything is going electric.  Not just because we love electric, it is just science.  We can achieve 95% system efficiency from the battery to the wheel. That compares to about 30% for very highly tuned internal combustion engines, and most internal combustion engines run in really bad phases, they only reach peak efficiency when the engine is really warm. A lot of trips are made with efficiency that it is far, far worse.”

Although battery technology has changed little in recent years, new generation batteries were still much more efficient. The next few years would be about scale, he said, with new battery production capacity coming on stream as a result of multi-billion-dollar investment. “This is going to drive down the cost of batteries per kilowatt-hour. Then we’ll get there. So, good news, very clear on that. We know where we are going.”

Watch the full panel discussion here.

Sports panel at COP27 features leaders from electric motorsport world

 

 

The panel, hosted by the UNFCCC, FIA, Formula E and Envision Racing will discuss the sport’s role in influencing and inspiring the development and adoption of zero emission vehicles.

Thursday 10 November is Youth and Future Generations Day at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. On the Blue Zone main stage, the conference’s only sporting event will be a panel discussion on motorsport’s unique ability to inspire mass transition to zero emission vehicles, moderated by UNFCCC Sports for Climate Action – the framework which supports sports organisations and their stakeholders to achieve global climate change goals – with speakers from the FIA, Formula E and Envision Racing.

Race Against Climate Change: Accelerating the transition to zero emission mobility will be held from 16:00 to 16:40 GMT, on Thursday 10 November in the Blue Zone and broadcast live here . It will feature an expert panel of leaders from the electric motorsport racing world, including; Envision Racing’s Managing Director Sylvain Filippi; Barbara Silva, FIA Social Responsibility Manager and Formula E’s Sustainability Director Julia Pallé.

The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is an environment where high performance and sustainability powerfully co-exist and is growing fast in its global popularity, particularly amongst the more climate engaged youth. The first professional sport to be net -zero carbon from inception, Season 9 begins in Mexico on 14 January 2023 and follows a record-breaking Season 8 where more than 381m viewers engaged in Formula E races.

This year, things have taken a giant sporting and technological leap forwards with the launch of the new Gen3 race car, the fastest, lightest, most powerful and efficient electric race car ever built. On the road, the number of electric car models has increased by six times since Formula E’s first season, with more than 175 now available in Europe. With the Gen3 car, and the continuing evolution of Formula E’s on-track technology, range and battery capacity will continue to improve in consumer electric vehicles (EVs) and other zero emission vehicles.

The panel will hear from the leaders in the industry about the global perspective on the motorsport industry’s contribution to tackling the climate crisis through both technology and engagement with young fans.

“The future is electric. Formula E is a revolutionary sport which has seen phenomenal growth globally in just eight seasons. Through innovation, high performance and an active fanbase we are demonstrating what is possible and what must be strived for” says electric racing pioneer Sylvain Filippi, who set up the EV Cup in 2009, the world’s first circuit race series for zero emission EVs, before becoming a founding member of the Envision Racing team.

“It is essential for us to be at COP27, because Formula E’s aim is to accelerate the adoption of EVs and inspire positive climate action around the world. Indeed, motorsport has a unique role to play in the transition away from petrol and diesel vehicles through innovation and our fan engagement.”

“As the governing body of world motor sport, we want to take a leading role among sporting federations in fighting against global climate change and provide the frameworks to make this a reality.” says Mohammed Ben Sulayem, FIA President. “Our presence at COP27 is an important stepping on our journey to become net zero by 2030 while accelerating the development and adoption of technologies and behaviours that can contribute to the decarbonisation of the world. “Jamie Reigle, CEO, Formula E, said: “One year on from COP26, the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship continues to set the standard for sustainability in elite sport by making demonstrable progress in our mission to accelerate change towards an electric future.

“In the spring we unveiled the new Gen3 race car, the world’s first net zero carbon race car in the world’s first net zero carbon sport. We raced in Jakarta, drawing attention to positive efforts being made in a city highlighted as one of the most vulnerable on the planet to the effects of climate change. We also attracted our biggest global audience to date of 381m. It’s vitally important that we, and every other participant at COP27, hold ourselves accountable for delivering on our commitments.”

Lindita Xhaferi-Salihu, Lead Sectors Engagement in Climate Action at the UNFCCC said: “This climate conference is all about implementation. It is about spotlighting policies, solutions, investments and finding ways to scale them as quickly as possible. The transition that we need is massive and we all have a role to play. I am delighted to be joined by Sports for Climate Action signatories on the stage who are working to bring others along in the journey, accelerate transition not only by working on reduction plans but also by focusing on innovation and technology. 

The event will provide an opportunity to learn from motorsport leaders about the way it is accelerating the transition to zero emission mobility and renewable energy across the globe – leaving no one behind in the e-mobility revolution with topics covered including: innovation needed to make e-mobility a reality, how the transition to zero emission vehicles must be part of a Just Transition and what more can be done by the sport to engage young people on environmental sustainability.

Those with a Blue Zone pass can attend the panel or watch virtually here.

Seoul E-Prix highlights promise of e-mobility in Asia and sets scene for exciting start to Gen3 era

Last weekend in Seoul marked the final race of an exciting Formula E season and also the end of the Gen2 era. What better opportunity to catch up with the latest on the extraordinary progress of e-mobility in Asia and to look forward to next season and the introduction of a brand new Gen3 car in Formula E.

We gathered a panel of experts at our Race Against Climate Change (RACC) In Conversation event in Seoul, the third edition of the season and part of five RACC events this year. The theme of the panel was to discuss the significance of e-mobility in South Korea and beyond and how Formula E contributes to the journey towards zero emissions. Our host, the presenter and producer Saunders Carmichael-Brown, was joined by Colin Crooks LVO, British ambassador to the Republic of Korea and by Dr Achala Abeysinghe, Asia Director and Head of Programmes, Global Green Growth Institute. The panel was completed by Envision Racing’s own Sylvain Filippi, Managing Director and CTO.

Colin stressed the critical role of transitioning to net zero to combat the climate crisis, and the high priority given to this in South Korea, one of the world’s leading automotive manufacturers. “I think that Korea understands instinctively that net zero is a massive source of economic opportunity,” said Colin. He also highlighted the opportunities for collaboration between South Korea and the UK, which has set one of the world’s most ambitious targets for transitioning to electric cars by 2030. “Just as Korea has world leadership in things like battery technology, UK businesses are very good at producing lightweight materials and advanced design. Bringing the two countries together can be a really powerful combination.”

 

Achala is an expert on legal issues in international climate change negotiations who has worked closely with countries across Asia and has a strong interest in the impact of climate change in developing nations. “E-mobility is an important tool for all ASEAN countries to meet their various goals and targets they have set,” she said. “It is not only about the Paris agreement on emissions but each country and sometimes individual states in each country have set different targets and goals. There are local air quality targets, measures around energy security and transport resiliency, for example.

 

“China is leading the e-mobility uptake but there are a number of other countries that we are working closely with, and which are becoming leaders. I want to mention Singapore and Indonesia, they have e-mobility targets and internal combustion engine phase-out plans.

“India has made strong commitments to scale up e-mobility at a national level as well as at state level. Sri Lanka doesn’t have a national e-mobility policy but the uptake of electric vehicles is quite high.”

Sylvain said that the rapid technological progress of Formula E racing cars since competition began in 2014 provided a template for the pace of change that can be achieved in e-mobility.

“Eight years ago, when Formula E was launched it wasn’t easy, technology-wise,” said Sylvain. “To have a race we needed two cars per driver. But we said this is the starting point; we want to be judged on how quickly we are able to develop these technologies.

“We are now testing the brand-new car which will race next year and again it is a gigantic step forward in performance. A few numbers: in 2014 we started Formula E at 150 Kw of power, we are now at 250 Kw next year the care will have 600 kw of power. Gen 3 will be a very powerful car, but also the car will be smaller and lighter, which shows the speed of innovation in eight years.  Our cars have a total system efficiency of around 95 per cent, so from the current in the battery all the way to the wheel we only lose about five per cent which is incredible.”

“We need a fast transition so we need legislation and regulation with very clear and ambitious targets which are non-negotiable. Then you will find the private sector comes up with the solutions to achieve it.”

 

ENVISON RACING CONVENE LEADING FIGURES FROM BUSINESS, SPORT AND GOVERNMENT IN THE RACE AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE

Representatives from UEFA, UNFCC and META to take part in event hosted by ‘the greenest team on the greenest grid’

Ahead of Saturday’s headline E-Prix race in London’s Excel Arena, Envision Racing are bringing together leading figures from across the world of sport, business and government to inspire action on the climate emergency and announce a call to arms for all involved in sport to continue the fight against climate change.

They will be speaking at the Race Against Climate Change Live event on Friday 29 July, hosted at the Tate Modern and held in partnership with TIME and COP26. Headline speakers include Michele Uva, Director, Football & Social Responsibility at UEFA, Lindita Xhaferi-Salihu, Sectors Engagement Lead on Sports and Fashion at UNFCC and Eoghan Griffin, Head of Sustainability at META.

The event will be hosted by Sky Sports presenter David Garrido and will feature two panel debates focusing on how to create sustainable cities and the power of sport to unite and inspire behaviour change. There will also be two in-depth fireside chats with Nigel Topping, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion at COP26, who will discuss the legacy of COP 26 and the role of EVs in achieving net zero targets, and Eliud Kipchoge, record breaking marathon runner and climate advocate, who will discuss the impact of air pollution on elite athletes and the work of his Foundation to address the climate emergency.

This is the latest in a series of Race Against Climate Change events hosted by Envision Racing Formula E team, whose aim is to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles and inspire positive climate action around the world. Their sustainable chain initiative has already generated almost 100,000 pledges from fans across the world to take personal actions such as flying less, reducing meat consumption or switching to an electric vehicle to help reduce their carbon footprints.

Sylvain Filippi, Managing Director and Chief Technology Officer at Envision Racing, said:

“From its role in fighting racial inequality, to highlighting the importance of mental health, sport has the power to be one of the most unifying and influential activities in the world. At Envision Racing, we’re proud to be using our platform as a sporting team to bring together

leading figures from across sport, civil society and business to drive the fight against climate change and call for all involved in sport, and all who love sport, to do what they can to tackle the issue.

“It’s fantastic to be hosting this RACC event in one of the most sustainable cities in Europe, as we gear up for the London E-prix taking place on Saturday. Here, we will continue to drive sustainability on the track, as well as off through developing key components for future road EVs.”

Michele Uva, Director, Football & Social Responsibility, UEFA said:

“The transition to a thriving, green economy is imperative and UEFA must be part of the journey through investments in sustainability. We are determined to take our responsibilities and accelerate collective action of all European football stakeholders to prevent and reduce the degradation of the environment, while leveraging football’s reach and visibility to advocate, such as with this event with Envision Racing, for  concrete actions.”

Lindita Xhaferi-Salihu, Sectors Engagement Lead on Sports and Fashion, UNFCCC said:

At the UNFCCC we recognise the positive role sport can play in communities and people’s lives accross the globe. That’s why we work with sports organizations to make sport an agent of change in our collective race against climate change. As part of RACC Live, we’re delighted to be able to contribute to the conversation around decarbonization and the role of sport to bring people along in the journey!

 

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