How eMotorsports are driving innovation in e-Mobility
As the drivers line up at the starting line, a silence falls over the crowd. Fans and teams hold their breath in anticipation. They are about to witness breakneck speeds, fierce passing and hairpin turns, all in a matter of seconds. The atmosphere is electric.
This is an eMotorsports race.
Motorsports has come a long way since the inaugural race in 1895, dubbed the “horseless carriage race”: while in the first race, cars were competing at about 20 km/h, now F1 cars reach maximum speeds of up to 360km/h.
This is mirrored by the overall trends in mobility. More and more people today, especially in developed nations, use cars to move about in their daily lives. It is estimated that 66.7 million automobiles were sold globally in 2021. However, traditional combustible engines have an environmental cost: for example, the typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.
So, while vehicles have gotten faster, smarter and safer, these advances have still been based on fossil fuels, both in the world of motorsports and in the mobility sector.
That is, until now.
Racing to a sustainable future
The e-Mobility revolution is guiding the future of motorsports towards an electrified future, merging innovation and sustainability with adrenaline, competition and fun.
Enel X Way, previously the energy partner of Formula E, is currently the Official Smart Charging Partner of MotoE, ECTR and Extreme E, three important, high-energy, adrenaline-inducing and electric-Motorsports competitions. Its role is to provide safe, smart and cutting-edge charging stations, electric circuit infrastructure and technical engineering support.
These electric vehicles are powered with renewable power sources – so, while we ditch the greenhouse gas emissions, none of the speed and thrill is lost. For example, in MotoE, all riders compete with the V21L, a state-of-the-art electric motorbike developed and manufactured by Ducati. These bikes are wickedly fast, reaching speeds of 275 km/h. To achieve such speeds, Enel X Way has developed the Enel X Way JuiceRoll Race Edition smart charger that can charge an electric motorbike in about 40 minutes.
These innovations were born in the legendary Vallelunga Circuit. In the Enel X Way e-Mobility Hub, we design, develop and test our latest sustainable solutions. This is the symbiosis between e-Mobility and eMotorsports for businesses, innovators and motor racing fans.
All of this with zero CO2 emissions
The move from traditional motorsports to eMotorsports reflects the global shift to e-Mobility. According to an analysis by Bloomberg, in the second half of 2022, almost a million electric vehicles (EVs) a month were added to the global fleet – one every 3 seconds – to reach over 26 million by the end of the year. This is over 5x the number of EVs just 4 years ago, in 2018.
This growth in the e-Mobility sector can help us lower our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and reach a Net-Zero future in line with the Paris Agreement. Studies by the International Energy Agency (IEA) reveal that EVs reduce GHG emissions by 20-30% across their entire lifecycle (including vehicle manufacturing, use and end-of-life), compared to traditional combustible engine vehicles. For example, in 2020, EVs saved more than 50 MT CO2-eq of GHG emissions globally, equivalent to the entire energy sector emissions in Hungary in 2019. With the increase in EVs and their supporting infrastructure, these trends are just the beginning of what promises to be a long-lasting e-Mobility revolution.
How eMotorsports drives e-Mobility innovation
eMotorsport competitions are so popular because they bring together big concepts like innovation and sustainability in a real way. As an ecosystem of integrated solutions, eMotorsports enables companies, startups and entrepreneurs to develop efficient and eco-friendly models for energy use. This way, consumers can see first-hand the potential of e-Mobility and the tangible results of these technologies.
At Enel, we are dedicated to bringing our solutions from the racetrack to the city streets, in order to promote sustainable, real-life impact. As Elisabetta Ripa, CEO of Enel X Way, says, eMotorsports function as an innovation accelerator: “Everything we bring here, to use in charging the electric race vehicle or motorbikes, is used by us to continue improving the products that we are preparing for the roads and everyone’s homes.”
Since the beginning, motorsports have been a cutting-edge form of entertainment, pushing the boundaries of speed, skill and ingenuity. Now, we are making these innovations sustainable through e-Mobility. By leveraging the synergies between eMotorsports and e-Mobility, between innovation and sustainability, we can drive real-life impact and a better future.
eMotorsports and e-Mobility: open road for innovation
As we have seen, in the upcoming decade, e-Mobility will be a big enabler of electrification and a Net-Zero future. According to the IEA, electrifying transport naturally boosts electricity demand, as EVs are projected to account for about 4% of total final electricity demand by 2030.
However, that does not mean that this transition will be all green lights ahead. For example, a household transitioning from an internal combustion engine to an electric vehicle is equivalent to that of a household doubling its electricity usage. This increased energy demand means that we need to ensure that we have stable grids, improved and digitized infrastructure, and efficient energy use.
Startups can be instrumental in helping to overcome some of these challenges. For example, Enel X Way collaborated with the startup E-GAP, offering mobile and on-demand services delivering charging for electric vehicles wherever they are located, directly through the app. This is just one example of the wide range of opportunities for innovation that e-Mobility provides.
Through electrification, we are reimagining our future, from motorsports on the track to the way we move on the streets. eMotorsports and e-Mobility offer unlimited opportunities for startups who innovate at the nexus of sustainability, innovation and, of course, fun.
Do you want to drive the future of e-Mobility? Check out our Open Innovability® challenges today.