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  • Writer's pictureDrew Bentham

Why sustainable synthetic fuels could be motorsports saviour.

Fossil fuelling

Sustainable, synthetic and bio are all buzz words that have been around for the last few years but what do they actually mean? In reality what real difference is any of it going to make and why on earth should anyone really care?

Most of the world and indeed the UK have been in a changing state when it comes to the environment and cleaner energy. Many governments have backed electric as the way forwards and many automotive manufacturers have ploughed billions into this new emerging market. And despite the efforts of some who are clearly invested in the technology and subsequent profits, is electric really the future solution we've been led to believe? I get that EVs are great for the short trip to the shops or short range motoring many will only undertake but the technologhy has its issues, not least the huge environmental impact its having for the mining of precious metals. Yes this is a fact. But there is emerging, an alternative solution. One that reduces gas emmisions by at least 85%, can be delivered through the existing fuel network, requires no modification to your car, is suitable for all cars and in some cases actually takes carbon OUT of the air.

And this solution is green fuels. Already being used and proven in the extreme conditions of motorsport, there are a collection of companies that have been developing both sustainable biomass, synthetic and power to liquid (PTL) fuels for use in motorsport for the last few years. F1 fuel partners including Shell with Ferrari may arguably be the most well known example but P1 and Carless fuels have been supplying the WRC and national series for the last few years, with complete success. The WRC went fully carbonless in 2022 with P1 and their 100% fossil free fuel is set to get even greener with a further reduction of green house gass emissions to 95%.

Martin Popilka, CEO of Germany based P1 Fuels said in a recent article in Racetech magazine,

Martin Popilka, CEO of P1 Fuels

"No matter how many vehicles we electrify, and how we increase the amount of EVs on the road, we still have that legacy vehicle fleet that will continue to pollute, if they don’t have an alternative"

There is approximately 1.3 billion combusion engined cars on the worlds roads.

Key benefits of P1 fuels

So what are the Key Benefits?

Practically speaking, these fuels are in most cases drop in fuels. That means they can be delivered using the existing network and used in your car right now without any need for change. This could translate into a huge impact in reaching global climate change goals if the production was to be upscaled enough for a full roll out. But more importantly it would be far far cheaper, quicker and easier to do, than to create a totally new infracturre for a replacement EV market, all without the additional carbon footprint EV supporters don't want you to talk about. Meeting climate targets whilst keeping old cars alive? What's not to love?

Guess what. These are not just motorsport suppliers. P1 in particular have a range of fuels you the public can buy right now. Ranging from pump standard mixes with less alcohol content right up to FIA regulated fuels, these products also boast full certification across Europe, Asian and US markets, offer the same if not improved performance and are compatible with modern hybrids.

Great so what does this have to do with motorsport?

F1 are developing sustainable fuels

Electrication has been the go-to technology for showing the world motorsport is taking this issue seriously, whilst quietly co-developing these new fuels. If they really can offer all these benefits and be delivered so easily and readily, Why on earth aren't the FIA, WRC and F1 promoters alike shouting this from the rooftops? P1 are already upscaling production so if the world governments cottoned on and invested in this stage, we the motorsport community could actually play a major part in the process of change rather than been outcasted as an outdated sport.

WRC have used green fuels exclusively since 2022

These new fuels could be the future that keeps it all alive and what's better still, we the fans would still be able to enjoy the intoxication of the smells, sounds and sights of our exhillerating sport......Guilt free. With the new working group being set up to discuss and design the future of rallying, both Reid and Richards should, in my opinion, take this and run with it. Blow it up (not literally!) and make it one of the major USPs of the sport to new manufacturers, fans and stakeholders. This should be something we can get behind and be proud of. It time the sport came out of the shadows and shone a burning torch to the world.

Read more at P1 Fuels.

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