Formula E

Please discuss here all your remarks and pose your questions about all racing series, except Formula One. Both technical and other questions about GP2, Touring cars, IRL, LMS, ...
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lizardfolk
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Re: Formula E

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gato azul wrote:
I just think, that any discussion about the pro and cons of an race series with electric cars should not exclusively hinge around the "is it/it is green(er)" argument.
Ok that's a fair point
gato azul wrote: Many sports don't add anything to the advancement of society and humankind in general, but yet nobody questions their Raison d’être on a constant basis and demands changes or that they are being banned.
It seems to be sufficient, that people enjoy to watching and/or participating in them.
Why do we need to hold (motor) racing to a different standard?

The argument that racing needs to be relevant to automotive development is bogus.
If it is, fine it's an added benefit, but as long as the operational profiles of both vehicles are on polar opposite ends of the scale - any crossover effect will be minimal.
Nobody (should) drive(s) their street car in a way a race car is driven/should be driven, so what's the point.
It's like saying that a fighter jet should be relevant to civil aircraft development - yes their is/can be some overlap, but it's minimal and nobody will go and design or spec a fighter jet thinking "ah maybe we should do this, because it will be useful for civil aviation".

If you would like to see real/tangible advancements in EV development for daily use, racing is not the way to go.
Racing can be used as a marketing tool to help shape consumer perception and maybe increase the "cool factor"/brand exposure, but that's as good as it will get.
But let's not confuse/mingle "public perception shaping" with engineering matters.
That's true but most sport don't actually negatively effect the planet (i.e. racing cars with their emissions and fuel usage during a potential fuel shortage crisis).

This isn't a specifically racing problem. Hunting as a sport is constantly underfire as well. Unless racing either directly contributes to society/technology or it becomes harmless (doesn't negatively effect the world in any way) you'll constantly see the "green" issue come up. Just the facts of life that we have to be more mindful about how we actually effect this planet. It's not 1950s anymore. Unless you think it's ok that the entire world acts like China (pollutions left and right, and as a person who's lived in China I can say that the people there are effected by very poor air too)

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flynfrog
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if you are worried about the pollution of a racecar you should focus on bigger issues first like lawnmowers there are a lot more of them and they get used more often than racecars. We are getting way off topic. Formula E looks to be an interesting idea to test concepts. It was never intend to replace f1. I know from racing solar cars its pretty amazing what you can do with only a few HP. I hope to see some of those ideas in play here. Not a fan of the dual car thing though.

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flynfrog
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All sports have an environmental impact. How do you think players get to the game emissions free hover craft. What about the lights in the stadium? All of the people that travel to the event? All sports are for entertainment only none are good for the environment

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lizardfolk
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flynfrog wrote:if you are worried about the pollution of a racecar you should focus on bigger issues first like lawnmowers there are a lot more of them and they get used more often than racecars. We are getting way off topic.
There's no political movement to ban race cars. However, a large number of people outside the racing community sees racing as a useless exercise in wasting fuel and energy. Might as well try to curb that sentiment because, believe it or not, opinions of those outside the realm of motorsports actually do matter and it'll be best to appear as legitimate of a sport as can be.

After all, hunting isn't really well respected amongst the more "cultured" circle here in the states.
flynfrog wrote:Formula E looks to be an interesting idea to test concepts. It was never intend to replace f1. I know from racing solar cars its pretty amazing what you can do with only a few HP. I hope to see some of those ideas in play here. Not a fan of the dual car thing though.
I find it funny that people think FE was intended to replace F1. I don't even think FE is here to really try to replace normal combustion car racing (atleast not in the near future). I've heard rumors that they will be racing only in cities and places where people wouldn't like race car noises. I personally doubt we'll see FE try to fight for venues at Spa or traditional racing circuits. FE might be a push to try to get people who don't like race car noises (and a lot of these people exist as hard as it is for racing fans to believe) to get into racing.
flynfrog wrote:All sports have an environmental impact. How do you think players get to the game emissions free hover craft. What about the lights in the stadium? All of the people that travel to the event? All sports are for entertainment only none are good for the environment
Yes... they do. Racing also uses a large number of lights during their night races too. I know a lot of NASCAR venues run under the night sky and their voltage usage is probably as high if not higher than regular stadiums. Also, transports are used in racing as well.

So normal sports:
Stadium lights (during night) + participants, spectator, and staff travel

Racing:
Stadium lights (during night) + participants, spectator, and staff travel + cars circulating on track.

I don't see how "but normal sports have lights and participant travel" is any argument against racing being more harmful than normal sports when racing basically operates similarly anyway in addition to the cars on track.

Also there seems to be a weird stigma that green racing technology have to make race cars lame by destroying engine sounds. This is entirely not true. from 2007-2011 IndyCar used 100% ethanol fuel. Absolutely 0 emissions (in fact IndyCar was pretty proud of that back in the day and published an article on it). IndyCar engines didn't sound any different than what they were originally... in fact I know IndyCar fans who prefer the 100% ethanol engines over their current DW12 spec turbo (which is 85% ethanol).

There's also LPG which BTCC Ford Focus used and I don't remember that car having lame sounds either.

Maybe pushing electric car or diesel racing technology will make race cars lame... but Ethanol and LPG certainly wont. In fact, most people outside of the news of IndyCar didn't even realize that IndyCar became 100% green from 2007-2011... heh... imagine that... IndyCar pushing technology... that hasn't happened since the 70s :lol: :mrgreen:

Point is, I think racing fans should stop being so hostile to green technology. We're open wheel fans (F1 at that). We should be embracing technology even if we have to sacrifice what we're typically familiar with. The anti-green outrage sometimes reminds me of a bunch of spoiled NASCAR fans and I'd like to believe F1 and Le Mans fans are better than that ;)

Tommy Cookers
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US bio-ethanol has around 80% of the carbon footprint of gasoline, it is very far from 0%
(only sugar cane gives properly low carbon biofuel, the rest use fertiliser and often dump historical soil carbon)

we will never have cheap, clean energy, ..... conservation (of whatever energy source) is essential, but F E ignores this
(conservation is the only really green approach, but the opposite message is being sent)

(BTW shouldn't it be called F EU ?)

PS can those posting here STOP using the G word ??

autogyro
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Ahh well, I see the point of formula E has been completely lost on the anti 'G' brigade.

ICE motor sport in ALL its forms and formula has reached a point where everything possible to improve the 'efficiency'
(whether for performance or fuel saving), has been done almost to death.
There is little if any scope for real improvement.

This is also true for ICE road vehicles working in the real world.
Bells whistles and marketing hype is practicaly all that is left today.

In my original paper to the FIA, I suggested building race circuits with built in alternate energy generation.
I still believe such sites will be built, as they will be for many other sporting and entertainment venues in the future.

However, the MAIN thing that electric traction gives to the world, is a capability and need to build 'smart grids'.
It is this potential that can result eventualy in energy policies that can have a major effect on energy conservation and cost.
The potential to finely control the generation and distribution of energy for the world economy is essential.
The technology to do this is already with us and it is only the dieing grasping fingers of the greedy oil consumer and government support and reliance in this greed, that is preventing the development needed to make use of it.

How the electricity to run electric traction is generated is not at present the most important thing.
Neither is the use of batteries (which do have major problems BUT CAN BE RE-CYCLED if effort is brought to bear, oil cannot).
Eventualy vehicles will charge on the move and this will appear first on purpose build E race tracks.
For now batteries will be used and improved and Formula E will seek to attract a younger and to an extent City based fan support.
MOST of these people have never heard an F1 car and probably never will (TV noise just shows them the wasted energy).

Formula E has finaly showed a recognition of the need for sensible energy development by the FIA and a recognition of the energy problems that desperately need to be addressed for the future of our planet and all our standards of living.
IMO Formula E is the biggest step by the FIA since the early days of motor sport.

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lizardfolk
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Tommy Cookers wrote:US bio-ethanol has around 80% of the carbon footprint of gasoline, it is very far from 0%
(only sugar cane gives properly low carbon biofuel, the rest use fertiliser and often dump historical soil carbon)
IndyCar used sugarcane ethanol but I'm wrong about it being 0%, but it is a properly low:
http://sweeteralternative.com/for-media ... beach-race

This article declares IndyCar as "emissions free" however which is where I originally assumed the 0%:
http://www.examiner.com/article/lean-gr ... g-machines

As I said before... IndyCar has actually been doing things and not just sitting around sucking their thumbs this whole time ;) Although I believe the fuel used for the DW12 is e85 so IndyCar can't claim the "emissions free ethanol" anymore because of the introductions of turbo back into the indycar engines.
Tommy Cookers wrote: we will never have cheap, clean energy, ..... conservation (of whatever energy source) is essential, but F E ignores this
(conservation is the only really green approach, but the opposite message is being sent)

(BTW shouldn't it be called F EU ?)

PS can those posting here STOP using the G word ??
Yeah sure I can stop talking about FE being green :mrgreen: It's just funny that the G word is such a dirty word to motorsport fans

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lizardfolk wrote: Yeah sure I can stop talking about FE being green :mrgreen: It's just funny that the G word is such a dirty word to motorsport fans
But you have to admit that this whole "electric car stuff" is under the smoke screen of "green technology". And as said this isn't the case with todays technology, not a tiny bit. So despite I´m a fan of efficient technology I totaly understand the blasphemie from the petrol hats.

gato azul
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lizardfolk wrote: Also there seems to be a weird stigma that green racing technology have to make race cars lame by destroying engine sounds. This is entirely not true. from 2007-2011 IndyCar used 100% ethanol fuel.
Absolutely 0 emissions (in fact IndyCar was pretty proud of that back in the day and published an article on it).

Maybe pushing electric car or diesel racing technology will make race cars lame... but Ethanol and LPG certainly wont. In fact, most people outside of the news of IndyCar didn't even realize that IndyCar became 100% green from 2007-2011... heh... imagine that... IndyCar pushing technology... that hasn't happened since the 70s
Well I think, in the meantime you have realized that this was a pretty childish and unscientific statement (absolutely 0 emission).
It`s statements like this, which will cost you and others a lot of credibility in any technical and scientific debate.
Do you want/like this? Why not just say "reduced emission" which is much closer to the truth.
Why the need to overstate things, just to make your point?
Why using fake numbers, when the real numbers are sufficient?
I`m sure that you as an Indy car fan, with an interest in the technical side of the sport, are aware of the realities, that`s why it puzzles me, that you feel compelled to make statements like the above.
Starting in 2007, the league advertised "100% Fuel Grade Ethanol", the first competitive series to utilize renewable fuel. The mixture is actually 98% ethanol and 2% gasoline for races held in the United States. It was provided by Lifeline Foods of Saint Joseph, Missouri. The additives satisfied the U.S. government's requirements that the alcohol be unfit for human consumption, and added visible color in case of a fire.
The 2010 São Paulo Indy 300, held in Brazil - outside of the U.S. regulations - utilized a full E100 mixture, the first instance in the sport.


Which "technology" did Indycar push or develop at the time?
I don't think that they did anything to advance the use of ethanol as a fuel in normal cars.
The use of Ethanol as car fuel is not "new", as already Henry Fords T-Model in 1908 was designed to run on it as well as on petrol (flex fuel technology if you like).
Fiat introduced a FIAT 147 in 1979 into the Brazilian market, which was able to run on E100 and is considered the first modern mass produced vehicle to do so.
Therefore it's not as the world needed Indycar to develop any suitable technology to advance the use of Ethanol for general transportation.
When Indycar moved to E100 the majority of Brazilian cars and light commercial vehicles used it since almost 10 years, so the technology was there already.

As with many things, the Indycar announcement was a marketing campaign, to shape public perception in favor of some political &/or lobbyist agenda at the time, as normally is the case with these things.

Did Indycar do anything to address the cold start problems, which are a ongoing concern for the daily use of E100 vehicles, which would need to be addressed to make them more user friendly outside the tropics?
Why did Indycar felt the need to increase engine capacity from 3.0 to 3.5 l at the time they moved to E100?
Is this a "good signal" to send to the general public?

And before you accuse me of being "anti-green" or whatever and having no conscious for the environment, let me assure you, that I´m not.
I worked on race cars running on Petrol, Avgas, LPG, CNG, Diesel, E80 & E100, and I would not mind working on a electric race car either. At the end of the day for me, it's just a race car, which needs to comply with the rules - whatever they are.
But I can see a million things which can and should be done do limit societies impact on the environment, I´m all for it, but trying to make "motor racing save the world" is starting at the wrong end IMHO, and is just a PR stunt with little real impact on the issues which should be addressed.
It´s a proxy to avoid, looking at the areas which could make a real difference, it's a easy target with only a small lobby, so some people will aim at it, but it`s missing the point.
Sort of not seeing the woods for the trees, so to speak.

Wanna save large amounts of energy and reduce usage/waste of fossil fuels in the long run?
Then take a look a the local/national building codes for example, you will find ample room for improvements around the world.
Last edited by gato azul on Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

olefud
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Perhaps motor racing (currently a misnomer) and engine racing are just two different and independent disciplines. I’m an old school engine racing guy but I have to recognize that many young people are more into social electronics than anything mechanical. Why does one type of racing have to cede anything to another? It’s supposed to be about competition after all.

Electric motor vehicles are actually an old and mature technology. The first were built in the 1830s. Dr. Porsche built a hybrid gas/electric about 1900. And for a time electric cars ruled. But battery energy density was their downfall as it still is.

Since 1900 little improvement of electric cars has been made, at least in terms of comparison with a hydrocarbon engine. Nickel-metal and lithium-ion batteries have two to three times the energy density of lead-acid batteries. Brushless DC motors are about as efficient as is currently available. And pulse-width modulation has replaced varying resistance. Several serious efforts to develop and produce electric vehicle during the last century have come to naught. Milk-delivery and in-factory vehicles have had rather marginal success. There’s nothing to indicate that a break-through technology is available and embroidering around the edges won’t cut it.

The narrow objectives of racing are better at producing publicity and a halo-effect than actual road technology whether for engine racing or motor racing. But if some people enjoy electric rather than fossil, the world is a freer place if they pursue their interests. Just don’t step on my interests in the process.

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lizardfolk
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gato azul wrote:
lizardfolk wrote: Also there seems to be a weird stigma that green racing technology have to make race cars lame by destroying engine sounds. This is entirely not true. from 2007-2011 IndyCar used 100% ethanol fuel.
Absolutely 0 emissions (in fact IndyCar was pretty proud of that back in the day and published an article on it).

Maybe pushing electric car or diesel racing technology will make race cars lame... but Ethanol and LPG certainly wont. In fact, most people outside of the news of IndyCar didn't even realize that IndyCar became 100% green from 2007-2011... heh... imagine that... IndyCar pushing technology... that hasn't happened since the 70s
Well I think, in the meantime you have realized that this was a pretty childish and unscientific statement (absolutely 0 emission).
It`s statements like this, which will cost you and others a lot of credibility in any technical and scientific debate.
Do you want/like this? Why not just say "reduced emission" which is much closer to the truth.
Why the need to overstate things, just to make your point?
Why using fake numbers, when the real numbers are sufficient?
I`m sure that you as an Indy car fan, with an interest in the technical side of the sport, are aware of the realities, that`s why it puzzles me, that you feel compelled to make statements like the above.
Because the article said "emissions free" which I assumed was 0% my bad for assuming that "emissions free" = 0%

Letterman on the letterman show has stated that IndyCar has 0% emissions, which, someone pointed out, is not true. Again, this is something I've taken from the American media and I've already double backed on it. I'm not sure what the European media says about IndyCar's E100 engines but someone already pointed out that E100 isn't 0 emissions (although sugarcane ethanol is drastically reduced to the point of negligible)
gato azul wrote:
Which "technology" did Indycar push or develop at the time?
I don't think that they did anything to advance the use of ethanol as a fuel in normal cars.
The use of Ethanol as car fuel is not "new", as already Henry Fords T-Model in 1908 was designed to run on it as well as on petrol (flex fuel technology if you like).
Fiat introduced a FIAT 147 in 1979 into the Brazilian market, which was able to run on E100 and is considered the first modern mass produced vehicle to do so.
Therefore it's not as the world needed Indycar to develop any suitable technology to advance the use of Ethanol for general transportation.
When Indycar moved to E100 the majority of Brazilian cars and light commercial vehicles used it since almost 10 years, so the technology was there already.
Who said IndyCar had an impact on consumer cars? No no no no I never said that. But look at the stigma against IndyCar (which is rightly and wrongly so). Ancient openwheel with low technology. Honestly this was basically started with the later days of CART and ChampCar when a lot of the European media considered IndyCar the "NASCAR of open wheel" with how technologically backwards they are.

In fact, this still continues today. Remember David Coulthard's comments that IndyCar's safety was 20 years behind F1 when Dan Wheldon died? (which is absolute bollocks btw and IndyCar was the first series to pioneer the SAFER barriers which makes ovals a lot safer)

But IndyCar pushing their E100 engine in the, let's face it, dinosaur of a car the IR03 was pushing the technology of their car. I never said the IndyCar E100 machines had any direct contributions to the market. The E100 just marked the first time that IndyCar bothered to even do anything with their IR03 as... I'm sure you can tell by the name, the IR03 is a 2003 chassis which IndyCar has basically used for the past 10 years without any real upgrades besides a few minor aero changes here and there.

Could you ever imagine ChampCar or CART actually trying to include more modern technology and "green" technology in their cars? I guess I should mention that "pushing technology" is relative to the series. But I never intended that statement to mean that IndyCar actually had an effect on the consumer market.
gato azul wrote: As with many things, the Indycar announcement was a marketing campaign, to shape public perception in favor of some political &/or lobbyist agenda at the time, as normally is the case with these things.

Did Indycar do anything to address the cold start problems, which are a ongoing concern for the daily use of E100 vehicles, which would need to be addressed to make them more user friendly outside the tropics?
Why did Indycar felt the need to increase engine capacity from 3.0 to 3.5 l at the time they moved to E100?
Is this a "good signal" to send to the general public?
As I said earlier in the post, IndyCar didn't effect the consumer or manufacturer industry one bit. They upgraded their engines to more modern technologies instead of using a same archaic formula over and over again. In fact, IndyCar let the consumer market effect them. In American motorsports that's a pretty big deal. Look at NASCAR or Grand-Am. Can you say that those cars are technologically relevant to the market?

Hell, NASCAR only started using fuel injection like last year.
gato azul wrote: And before you accuse me of being "anti-green" or whatever and having no conscious for the environment, let me assure you, that I´m not.
I worked on race cars running on Petrol, Avgas, LPG, CNG, Diesel, E80 & E100, and I would not mind working on a electric race car either. At the end of the day for me, it's just a race car, which needs to comply with the rules - whatever they are.
But I can see a million things which can and should be done do limit societies impact on the environment, I´m all for it, but trying to make "motor racing save the world" is starting at the wrong end IMHO, and is just a PR stunt with little real impact on the issues which should be addressed.
So you don't believe in the "trickle down" effect for motorsports?
gato azul wrote: It´s a proxy to avoid, looking at the areas which could make a real difference, it's a easy target with only a small lobby, so some people will aim at it, but it`s missing the point.
Sort of not seeing the woods for the trees, so to speak.

Wanna save large amounts of energy and reduce usage/waste of fossil fuels in the long run?
Then take a look a the local/national building codes for example, you will find ample room for improvements around the world.
A large part of green racing are PR stunts yes. And racing contributes very little to environmental erosion. I understand that. I'm saying that the general perception outside of racing (atleast here where I live) is that racing is something that can easily be axed without any real adverse effects to the world so if something "as meaningless as racing" can be cut to save a bit of fuel or a bit of emissions that would be good as society doesn't need racing.

This isn't my opinion I'm just regurgitating what is being said around where I live. (which i'm pretty confident extends to my region). Do you think this is something motorsports in general should just dismiss and ignore? Because if they do this opinion will grow as racing's starting to become more niche.

gato azul
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this is from one of the links you posted (this article is one of the worse I have read in a long time, but I guess this is part of the general problem. People like to listen to Letterman or like to believe everything they read in the newspapers or worse on the internet)
The Indy Racing League, better known as IRL, began using corn-based fuel in 2003. Since 2007, all IRL cars have been running on 100% fuel-grade ethanol. Indy cars are still noisy, but there are no longer churning out CO2, which is good for the Indy fans in the grandstands and the overall environment.
well, if you look at the chemical composition of Ethanol and what happens if you burn it, then you will see this:
Combustion
Complete combustion of ethanol forms carbon dioxide and water vapor:
C2H5OH (l) + 3 O2 (g) → 2 CO2 (g) + 3 H2O (g); (ΔHc = −1371 kJ/mol[62]) specific heat = 2.44 kJ/(kg·K)
It's this type of hyperbole and misinformation (on both sides of the argument) which will cause more harm then good in the long run, and cost the debate a lot credibility.

Why not just stick with the facts and say, that burning Ethanol (on a per ltr. basis) could reduces CO2 emission to ~25% compared to fossil fuel.
from the combustion reactions:
C8H18 + 12.5O2 → 8CO2 + 9H2O
C2H5OH + 3O2 → 2CO2 + 3H2O
This still hides the fact, that you would need to burn more Ethanol than gasoline to achieve the same energy output, due to the lower energy density and ignores other factors, such as water usage and pollution and Co2 emitted during production and transportation, which should be considered in a proper well to wheel analysis, but that is beside the point in this context.

If motorsport let itself be used to fool people about the truth and to mislead and misinform the general public just to perform some cheap PR stunts, it does itself a disservice IMHO.
Last edited by gato azul on Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

gato azul
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lizardfolk wrote: Could you ever imagine ChampCar or CART actually trying to include more modern technology and "green" technology in their cars? I guess I should mention that "pushing technology" is relative to the series.
But I never intended that statement to mean that IndyCar actually had an effect on the consumer market.
Fair enough, my bad then. Maybe I was just confused by what you said earlier.
Unless racing either directly contributes to society/technology or it becomes harmless (doesn't negatively effect the world in any way) you'll constantly see the "green" issue come up.
&
Because racing needs to be seen as relevant?
and thought you actually meant, that motor racing should make some meaningful contribution to society, not just planting some trees and doing some cheap PR stunts, to "look green(er)".
Well coming back to your Champcar analogy, I can think of many technology advancements (in relation to the series and for motor racing in general that is) which originated there.
Far more then originated from the last 10 years of Indycar to be honest.

In the general context of the topic, and seeing the trend to small(er) turbo charged engines in consumer cars (downsizing) today, one could argue, that Champcar/CART was ahead of their time, and that Indycar now and F1 in 2014 (as it stands today, we will need to see what comes out of this) just going back to where Champcar already was at 20 years ago.

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Cam
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A simpler and far better way of promoting Formula E as a 'green' form of racing would be to Carbon Offset it and actively show what teams are doing. If they open up the inner workings and can publicly show that the cars and teams are both using as much renewable and recycled material where possible and offsetting what's left over. There is a price on Carbon so any emissions could in fact be 'zero' when in this context.

Much like the below comparison of companies using 'conflict minerals' teams could show the resources they're using (along the entire chain) and what they're doing to help and to reduce. What's the point in have a 'E' series and not doing everything you can to be zero impact.

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Tommy Cookers
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@ gato azul
zero carbon claim for bioethanol is surely based on the CO2 emissions being absorbed by the next generation of (cane) bioethanol

US sourced bE is from corn, requiring fertiliser and more work, giving small carbon benefit (why IRL changed from corn to cane bE)
cane bE can be better, but can be bad carbonwise as all bE causes 50 year carbon release if ploughing virgin land

not @ gato azul
so cane bE can be ok, corn or wheat bE is simply fraud (by governments making themselves look good) .... fraud won't save the world (biodiesel can be ok,too, but often bad for carbon release and for orang-utans etc)
similarly electric cars are (government) fraud (until we have majority low-carbon electricity, which IMO can't happen ?)

this thread has shown me that for PR purposes racing needs to kiss up to greeness (however fraudulent)
but that shouldn't stop F E being an efficiency formula, not another inefficiency formula ?