This weekend at the Hungaroring the curtain will rise on the 2021 FIA European Truck Racing Championship season, marking an important milestone in the history of the discipline.
15 full-time competitors are set to face each other for the first time powered by fuel fully originated from renewable sources as part of the new three-year agreement between the FIA and TotalEnergies.
With the input from the championship promoter, the European Truck Racing Association (ETRA), since 2019 the FIA Truck Racing Commission has been working on a sustainability roadmap to progressively implement environmentally friendly power sources to truck racing, with the introduction of biofuel set as the short-term objective.
Following the official tender process and the approval of the FIA World Motor Sport Council, for 2021 the FIA ETRC switches to 100% sustainable fuel, the HVO100 biodiesel supplied by TotalEnergies, becoming the first FIA-regulated competition to do so.
The change reflects FIA ETRC’s strive to become the leading platform for sustainable technologies in the road haulage industry, at the same time making truck racing a relevant research and development platform for manufacturers.
HVO stands for Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil and is a premium fossil-free diesel product made of 100% renewable raw materials, which does not release any new carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
It is produced by hydrotreatment of vegetable oils and animal fats, and the result is a premium quality fuel with a chemical structure nearly identical to regular diesel and that can be used in a regular combustion engine without the need for any modifications.
TotalEnergies produces its HVO100 biodiesel from a fully renewable supply.
Advantages of HVO
Owing to its high cetane number, the HVO has a positive impact on performance compared with conventional diesel fuel.
Furthermore, it also reduces exhaust emissions and combustion noise, also achieving better cold-start performance, thus making the product well suited to the requirements of the truck haulage industry.
HVO meets the Advanced Sustainable (AS) fuel criteria, which state that the fuel must reach greenhouse gas emissions savings of at least 65% over the entire cycle from well to wheel and complies with the European Union’s Renewable Energy Directive II (RED II).
The introduction of HVO100 in the FIA ETRC is part of the FIA’s long-term strategy to implement sustainable power sources across its portfolio of motor sport disciplines, and thus setting an example in the approach of reduction of CO2 emission by leading the development and promotion of new technologies throughout its competitions.
Motor sport’s positive contribution to the environment is also one of the four pillars of the FIA’s #PurposeDriven movement, with the other three being contributions to areas such as health and safety, diversity and inclusion as well as community involvement and development.
Georg Fuchs, European Truck Racing Association Managing Director, said: "The introduction of HVO is a significant step on our way to a more sustainable future. We want to use our platform to drive change and adopt a leading approach to accommodate a variety of technical developments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on track.”
Manuel Vidal, FIA Truck Racing Commission President, said: “Introduction of sustainable energies to motor sport is one of the key strategic objectives of the FIA for the years to come. It’s important that we identify which form of them is the most relevant solution for each of our competitions. Therefore, we’re delighted to have FIA ETRC paving the way with the switch to HVO100 biodiesel. Through relevance to the truck haulage industry this reflects our race-to-road approach and proves that motor sport can be a laboratory that serves a greater purpose.”
Pierre-Gautier Caloni, VP TotalEnergies Compétition, said: “We are really proud to have been chosen by FIA to become the exclusive supplier of HVO100, 100% renewable fuel, for the European Truck Racing Championship for the next three years. We share the ambition of FIA and ETRA on the road to a sustainable future and this is in line with TotalEnergies’s road map to get to net-zero emissions for its global business by 2050, together with society. At TotalEnergies we are using the track as a real laboratory to develop the future of sustainable mobility and FIA ETRC is a clear demonstrator.”