Can motorsport be sustainable? Let's imagine that we can keep all the attractions that make cars and motorcycles competition a unique experience but without polluting and attracting investment and research in low-carbon technology: the same adrenaline, controlled risk and speed... without fossil fuels.
So far, these sensations -both for the viewer and the driver- were relegated only to championships with conventional gasoline powered vehicles. However, in recent years the technological research allowed to transfer these intangible values of traditional careers to a new scene, the competitions with electric vehicles.
Electric vehicles and Formula E, the future of motoring?
The best example of innovation in the development of electric motors for high competition is the Formula E, which is currently celebrating its second season after being accepted as a new championship in the competitions organized by the FIA (International Automobile Federation, by its French acronym).
These competitions, specially the Formula 1 World Championship, have historically been a testing ground for auto companies, which have developed over decades technology that later was successfully implemented in commercial automotive: brake systems, new materials for tires, traction control systems, suspension... Logically, Formula E is an excellent stage for the research of clean and efficient technology that can be applied to utility consumption in the near future.
The big question is: is there much difference between an electric Formula E car and a Formula 1 car? In efficiency terms, F1 cars consume about 46 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers, which means more pollution. In return, the high consumption provides a much higher power, although the improvements achieved by Formula E teams are truly amazing: the vehicle of the first season (all teams used the same, this year each constructor builds its own) reached 100 kilometers per hour in three seconds and had a top speed of 220 kilometers per hour. Still very much below the 370 kilometers per hour that some F1 cars have reached, but considering that energy is 100% electric, clean and much cheaper and safety systems are comparable to those of top category, it is likely that in the future Formula E can replace the smell of gasoline in the circuits for a more efficient emotion.
The motorbikes also join efficiency
While Formula E is the main innovative motorsport in electric vehicles, it is not the only discipline. Lovers of two wheels also celebrate sustainability. In 2013 the two major championships of electric motorcycles joined forces to create one that would attract the attention of media and fans: the eRoad Racing World Cup. Like in cars, motorcycle racing serve as a field for innovation that will later be applied to the models for the general public, but in this particular case there is a very important detail to keep in mind: the Chinese manufacturer Zongshen, although unknown in Occident, sells three million units each year in his country, where pollution is a major national problem, and is also preparing to enter the Latin American market. Its interest in achieving significant progress in this area is more than justified.
ACCIONA 100% ECOPowered
This Saturday January 2 the 38th edition of the Dakar Rally starts, considered by professional pilots as the toughest cross-country raid in the world. And again, ACCIONA will face the most difficult mission. With the new ACCIONA 100% ECOPowered, the Argentinian couple formed by the pilot Ariel Jaton and his partner Gastón Scazzuso will try to make history by competing with a vehicle powered only by solar energy with 0 emissions of carbon dioxide. ACCIONA electric vehicle shows how to compete at the highest level in the world of motor without leaving traces in nature.
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