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  • Writer's pictureShayna McCaffrey

Sustainability in Formula E

In recent years, Formula E has taken the motorsport world by storm, introducing an all new racing series devoted to producing racing as exciting and entertaining as Formula One, while maintaining a certain level of sustainability. The mix of it has, of course, attracted both good and bad attention from many motorsport fans.
 

Formula E was set up on the foundation of showing how electric cars can be just as thrilling as the non-electric ones. Former FIA president, Jean Todt set out to begin an all electric racing series to bring awareness to the then ‘all new electric vehicles’ and to highlight the benefits of using them.


Formula E has many different attributes to their zero emission sport. Much like any electric series such as MotoE and Extreme E, Formula E has a goal to better the future by zero CO2 emissions. In their sixth season, the series had a Net 0 carbon footprint. By calculating the overall footprint of the championship and focusing on lowering their emissions; the first sport to ever do so. Formula E teams also came together after the 2021 season finale in Berlin to donate over 100k items of PPE to 18 different Berlin hospitals and organisations. Formula E has invested in many community projects and educational activities in their host cities. The series has also contributed to many events related to sustainability. For example, the series donated to organisations helping with learning in remote areas and also provided personal protective equipment in these areas. Campaigns such as International Day for Clean Air and Blue Skies, World Environment Day, and Earth Day were promoted by Formula E.


On the race weekends, Formula E tries its best to comply with their goals of zero emissions, by putting measures in place to use as little transportation as possible. The teams try to use fewer trucks, ships, and planes for transporting their cars, equipment, and team personnel. This is to ensure that the majority, if not all waste, is recyclable at all of their events and in between events. Their unavoidable emissions are offset through investment in Gold Standard, verified Carbon Carbon Standard and Clean Development Mechanism Projects.


The series has found ground breaking discoveries in how to make electric cars quicker, safer, and more efficient with their Gen3 cars, which are estimated to reach speeds over 200mph. Over 40% of the car's energy will be produced by braking. Compared to Gen 2 cars, this is a big step up, as the regenerative braking used to give the cars only 25% energy. As well as this, the batteries will be recycled at the end of their life cycle.


Formula E contributes to sustaining a level of equality. In the summer of July 2020, the Formula E Open Talent Call was introduced to search for new and diverse young voices driven to bring awareness to under-represented groups in motorsport. Former Venturi team principal, Susie Wolff, set up the Dare To Be Different initiative, and in 2019, the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission teamed up with Wolff to bring forward a new initiative called FIA Girls On Track. This programme aims to increase the percentage of girls aged 8 - 18 in motorsport and invites young girls to experience and explore the different aspects of motorsport.


There are some fans that question whether Formula E could somehow replace Formula and as likely as it seems for some, I think it will be a long while away before FE could replace F1. With Formula One slowly but surely becoming more sustainable such as their decision to use a mixture of 90% fossil fuel and 10% ethenol, the sport is slowly following in the footsteps of the all elctric series- They are also planning to use a 100% sustainable drop in fuel in the cars for their aim to reach net-zero by 2030.

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