Green Racing uses motorsport competition to promote, help rapidly develop and test cleaner fuels and more efficient vehicle technologies that can be transferred to consumer vehicles. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and SAE International, Green Racing fosters new technology development that reduces greenhouse gases and exhaust pollutants, and increases fuel economy.
Green Racing began in 2006 when members of DOE, EPA, SAE, and several automotive industry leaders developed the Green Racing initiative to recognize and reward automotive industry leaders that go the farthest and fastest with the smallest environmental footprint for energy used.
The Green Racing program is based on protocols that determine the racers’ score, taking into account the amount of fuel consumed during the race, distance (number of laps) completed, speed, energy efficiency, and the amount of greenhouse gases emitted during the race. The protocols are based on the use of the following five elements:
To achieve the best green score, teams will make use of efficient technologies, such as renewable fuels and fuel blends that incorporate ethanol, biodiesel and biobutanol; multiple propulsion systems; and regenerative energy powertrains - such as hybrids.
In 2009, the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) adopted the Green Racing protocols and incorporated them into a season-long Green Racing Cup Championship Award. The winners are determined by a scoring system that takes into account the amount of fuel consumed during the race, distance completed, speed, energy efficiency, and the amount of greenhouse gases emitted during the race. All teams start the season with the maximum number of 250 Green Racing Cup Championship points available. At the end of each race, the teams from the (LMP) and (GT) classes that go the farthest and fastest with the smallest environmental footprint for energy used earn the Michelin Green X Challenge award, sponsored by Michelin USA, and points are deducted from their total score. At the end of the season, the teams with the lowest total will win the season-long Green Racing Cup Championship Award.
Although ALMS is the first automotive racing series to adopt the Green Racing Protocols, the protocols can be adapted for any racing series.
Green Racing and the partnership between the DOE, EPA, SAE, and ALMS represents a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate that efficient automotive technologies can meet the performance requirements of even the most demanding customers, and can be quickly transferred from the racetrack to the driveway.