Green racing events continue to be a strong platform showing off breakthrough vehicle technologies and clean fuel potential. They’re helping increase public awareness (and coolness) for green vehicles and are vital testing grounds for the technologies. Last week saw two public announcements that were likely very good news for green racing enthusiasts; and a feature article on the latest developments in NASCAR’s green campaign; and part three of the EcoCAR college competition is underway.
- Andretti Formula E has created a strategic alliance with Electric Drive Transportation Association and its member companies. The alliance’s goal is to collaborate on initiatives to advance and promote the use of electric drive technologies in mainstream applications. In addition, Andretti Formula E has named GoElectricDrive to its list of official charity initiatives. “The opportunity for EDTA and the GoElectricDrive Foundation to join forces with one of the most prestigious and successful organizations in racing history is an important milestone for the electric drive industry, and for the future of sustainable transportation across the United States,” said EDTA President Brian Wynne.
- Andretti Formula E will be part of the first American team named to a group of 10 racing organizations worldwide that will compete next year in the new electric vehicle FIA Formula E Championship. Last week, the city of Long Beach, Calif., announced that it will be one of 10 cities that will host the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) Formula E Championship series. Formula E Long Beach ePrix will be round seven of the world’s first all-electric racing series. It will take place on April 4, 2015 – about two weeks ahead of the annual Long Beach Grand Prix, which has been scheduled for April 17-19, 2015. Formula E Long Beach ePrix will take place on a shortened version of the Long Beach Grand Prix circuit in downtown Long Beach – though these electric racers will be much quieter than the usual loud and roaring engines used in Grand Prix racers.
- GreenBiz executive editor Joel Makower recently attended the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. During the racing event, Mike Lynch, vice president, green innovation for NASCAR, presented findings on the latest data from the NASCAR Nation survey of its rabid racing fans. The 2014 study (which updated its 2011 study) found that NASCAR fans are big supporters of renewable fuels, such as ethanol blends; 80% of NASCAR fans recycle, 66% have replaced incandescent light bulbs with more efficient ones, 60% buy energy-efficient appliances, 40% drive or own energy-efficient vehicles, and 25% use public transportation or ridesharing. Two-thirds of NASCAR fans support buying solar panels for use at home, though only 11 percent have done so to date. Compared to non-fans, NASCAR fans are about twice as likely to say their household is “very green” and seeking ways to positively impact the environment. Four out of five NASCAR fans believe climate change is taking place, and three out of four agree they have a personal responsibility to do something about it.
- For college students eager to participate in advanced clean technologies, part three of the national four-year competition is about to launch. EcoCAR 3 is the latest US Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC) series and considers itself to be North America’s premier collegiate automotive engineering competition. DOE and General Motors Corp. are “challenging 16 North American universities to redesign a Chevrolet Camaro into a hybrid-electric car that will reduce environmental impact, while maintaining the muscle and performance expected from this iconic American car.” During the four-year program, teams will follow the EcoCAR Vehicle Development Process aligning with GM’s vehicle development process and establishing a plan for research and development, analysis, and validation of the EcoCAR 3 vehicle design.