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Formula E at COP28: Electric Racing With A Sustainable Touch

Written by Vyas Ponnuri

The COP28 summit is taking place in the UAE; Image Credit - UNESCO

The much-awaited COP28 kicked off on Thursday, November 30th, and will take place until Tuesday, December 12th, at Expo City, Dubai. Amid dignitaries from various countries expected to make their presence felt at the event, motorsport will also be represented at the event, by Formula E, the premier electric single-seater racing series

Formula E has risen up the sustainability charts in the past few years, recently becoming the only motorsport series to achieve the coveted target of the first net zero carbon sport in the world. This is due to continued efforts and advances in the technology used in Formula E's electric beasts.

Formula E has been a hotbed for testing future technologies within electric vehicle mobility, and it is no surprise to see famous car manufacturers such as Porsche, Mahindra, McLaren, Maserati, Nissan, Jaguar, and DS Automobiles taking part in the series.

The series aims to transfer the latest advancements from the world of electric racing into electric cars on the streets, helping further the efficiency of electric vehicles, and make them a more valuable proposition to automobile markets across the world.

Formula E's Gen3 car, used for season nine, was the lightest, fastest, and most efficient evolution of Formula E's racing cars until date. The new cars can touch the 200 mph barrier, and regenerate upto 600 kW energy during a Formula E race.

Formula E's Gen3 cars can regenerate upto 600 kW of energy; Image Credit - LAT Images

In fact, 50% of the energy is renegerated under braking itself — speaking volumes of the leaps in technology made since the first season of the series in 2014.

In addition, the cars would be driven on fresh boots, with Hankook supplying the tyres from season nine. An interesting fact about the Hankook tyres is the continuous recycling of all sets of tyres after a race, which helped the sport maintain a high level of sustainability.

The charging systems for the Gen3 cars, supplied by series sponsor ABB, also has a provision to allow two cars to consume power from a single 160 kW charger at the same time, with each car drawing 80 kW of charge. This allows manufacturers to reduce the number of chargers brought to the event, thereby helping reduce the emission figures substantially.

Formula E and Sustainability

Formula E has adapted plenty of measures to improve its emission figures, in all facets, ranging from transportation to logistics, and even at the race tracks on Formula E weekends.

The electric racing series prioritises using road, rail, or seaways over airway travel, ensuring the carbon consumption of the series remains low. The calendar also focuses on hosting double-headers at multiple rounds, ensuring lesser travelling around the globe every year, eking out maximum action with minimum travel.

At the centres of racing action, the Formula E racetracks, the series utilises reusable bottles, and has Allianz Hydration Stations on-site, to eliminate single-use plastic bottles, and bring down emission levels.

Formula E encourages fans to commute using public transport to its race venues; Image Credit - Sam Bagnall

Formula E also encourages race fans to use public transport to commute to the race weekends, and doesn't provide parking slots for the general public at its race venues. Only those staff who need to be on track travel for a race weekend, avoiding any unnecessary travelling too.

The series also prioritises rail transport for the European rounds of the season, capitalising on Europe's massive rail network to reduce emission levels.

The organisers of a race weekend also work with suppliers to source food and beverages locally, looking to integrate sustainability in operations of a race weekend.

By following some simple rules and measures, the electric racing series has reduced its carbon emissions to the lowest possible level, ensuring sustainable operations and exciting on-track racing making up a great weekend.

Formula E is also on track to reduce its emissions by upto 45% by 2030, across Scopes 1,2, and 3 of the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi). This is a strong target, and achieving this figure would just substantiate the efforts Formula E puts to become more sustainable day-by-day.

Sylvain Filippi (R) will be present at COP28; Image Credit - Simon Gallaway

Formula E at COP28

The quinquennial summit will also see Formula E representatives take the spotlight, with teams and partners from ABB, DHL, UNICEF, NEOM McLaren Formula E Racing Team, Envision Racing Formula E Team and others taking part in the event, speaking of the learnings they draw from the global racing series.

The itinerary for Formula E at COP28 is as follows:

Tuesday, 5 December

DHL Masterclass with Julia Palle – invite only

Location: DHL Innovation Centre

Overview: Showcasing the technology and sustainable freight solutions DHL develops within the championship and the value it sees in the championship.

Bloomberg Green thought leadership evening reception with Formula E delegation and special guests – invite only

Location: Jumeirah Emirates Tower

Overview: Bloomberg Green at COP28 is an immersive experience designed to delve into pragmatic strategies for cross-sector climate action.

Wednesday, 6 December

Formula E Green Zone Session – ‘Formula E’s Race Against Climate Change’ – open to all Blue and Green zone passholders

Location: COP28 Green Zone Main Stage (Dubai Amphitheatre), Dubai Expo City

Time: 11:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m.

Overview: During Formula E’s session, moderated by Sky Sports’ David Garrido, you’ll hear how the all-electric motorsport championship continues to be a pioneer within motorsport, technology and sustainability, providing fans with spectacular racing and teams and partners with a world-leading test bed to develop cutting-edge sustainable solutions. Speakers:

Jeff Dodds – CEO, Formula E

Ian James - Team Principal, NEOM McLaren Formula E Racing Team

Team Principal Sylvain Filippi - Managing Director and CTO, Envision Racing Formula E

Mike Umiker – Managing Director, Energy Efficiency Movement

Fathi Tlatli, President Global Sector Auto-Mobility at DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation, DHL UNICEF spokesperson, Global Partnership Team Thursday,

Thursday, 7th December

Formula E panel at Future Mobility Hub during its Sustainability in Sport Day –

Location: Future Mobility Hub DMCC, 1001 10th Floor, Uptown Tower Uptown

Dubai Time: 1715-1800

Overview: During this panel session you’ll hear how teams and partners from Formula E are working together in developing the cutting-edge racing series and how learnings and technology can be transferred to wider consumer audiences and applications.

Jeff Dodds, CEO, Formula E, quoted how the sport needs to "Give it everything" in order to stay on track to achieve its sustainability goals:

Elite sport reaches a global audience of billions every week. Athletes are among the most-followed and influential people on the planet. Collectively, we have the potential to make positive changes for a more sustainable future and encourage fans to do the same. To use popular football manager parlance, we need to ‘give it everything’.”


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