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TotalEnergies developing a 100% renewable fuel for racing

TotalEnergies developing a 100% renewable fuel for racing
Photo courtesy of TotalEnergies

TotalEnergies is developing a 100% renewable fuel for motorsport competition, to be introduced during the next season of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), including the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2022 and the European Le Mans Series (ELMS).

Competition is a key driver for innovation: the extreme constraints met in endurance racing —race duration and high mileage—are constantly pushing for the development of high-performance fuels, which however must also address nowadays the new challenges posed by the energy and environmental transition. 

This 100% renewable fuel to be offered by TotalEnergies will be made from wine residues from the French agricultural industry, and from ethyl tertiary-butyl ether (ETBE) produced at TotalEnergies’ Feyzin refinery near Lyon, France, from feedstock also sourced from the circular economy. This fuel should allow an immediate reduction of at least 65% of the racing cars’ CO2  emissions.

Named “Excellium Racing 100”, this fuel opens a new chapter in the Endurance racing and motorsport energy transition for all the actors involved. It will have all the required qualities for a racing fuel and will meet automakers’ requirements, as well as the latest FIA criteria for sustainable fuels, by leveraging the expertise of TotalEnergies Additives and Fuels Solutions. This team designed “Excellium Endurance”, the fuel used this year for the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2021 which already includes 10% of advanced bioethanol. 

“Our ambition is to be a major player in the energy transition and to get to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, together with society,” said Patrick Pouyanné, chairman and CEO of TotalEnergies. “TotalEnergies is supporting its customers and partners in their evolutions, by thus applying its strategy to motorsport: sustainable liquid fuels, electricity, batteries, hybridization, hydrogen… Advanced biofuels have an undeniable part to play in helping the transport sector to reduce its CO2 emissions immediately. This 100% renewable fuel, that will be made available in motor racing as soon as 2022, is a perfect illustration. As we are becoming a broad energy company, the racing track is more than ever an open-air laboratory for TotalEnergies.”

“Endurance racing, by its nature, has always served as an excellent research and development platform and it is an important milestone to have the FIA World Endurance Championship switching to 100% sustainable fuel. It’s FIA’s major goal to implement sustainable energy sources across its portfolio of motor sport disciplines, thus paving the way in the reduction of CO2 emission, perfectly reflecting our race-to-road strategy as well as the FIA’s PurposeDriven movement,” said Jean Todt, FIA president.

Since 2018, TotalEnergies has been the partner and official fuel supplier of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (A.C.O.), creator and organizer of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The forthcoming introduction of a 100% renewable fuel will complete this partnership between TotalEnergies and the ACO in the promotion of new energies. 

“Increasing awareness of social and environmental matters over the last few years has led the motor racing world to focus deeply on these issues. The 24 Hours of Le Mans has been an experimental playground for innovation ever since the first race in 1923 and this exciting new development is in perfect continuity with our founding principles. Our long-standing partner TotalEnergies channels its expertise into developing sustainable solutions. This new, fully renewable fuel is testament to our wholehearted commitment to CSR. When it comes to sustainable development, we continue to step up to the bar, delivering our promise to play our part in sustainable mobility,” Pierre Fillon, president of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest said.

“It is extremely encouraging that TotalEnergies is paving the way for others and creating a 100% renewable fuel.  I firmly believe that the WEC and ELMS are the ideal playground for TotalEnergies in order to trial its new innovative Excellium Racing 100 fuel. Endurance racing is the ultimate test for all road-related products and we are delighted that TotalEnergies has chosen our championships and Le Mans to help launch this cutting-edge new creation,” said Frédéric Lequien, FIA WEC & ELMS CEO.