Mercedes F1 truck biofuel trial reduces CO2 emissions by 89%

As Formula 1 chiefs scrutinize the 2023 calendar for the 24 races that fly around the world, Mercedes has shown how teams can take on their own responsibility to help make environmental improvements.

The Brackley-based squad has chosen to test-run 16 F1 race trucks on hydrotreated biofuel (HVO 100) for the three post-summer holiday races in Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy.

She wanted to use the three events, which feature a total driving distance of 1,400 km, to gather some good ideas about the challenges and positive effects of switching from a regular diesel.

The team hopes that lessons learned, particularly regarding supply issues in continental Europe, can help it move toward as sustainable fuel use as possible in 2023.

Having successfully completed a one-truck test back home from the Hungarian Grand Prix, Mercedes has chosen to run 16 of them in its latest test of the last three F1 events.

And all but 20 kilometers of 1,400 kilometers were run using biofuels, with the product not only available in Italy, meaning the last 20 kilometers to reach Monza had to be done on diesel.

Operational analysis showed that the use of HVO 100 biofuels saved a total of 44,091 kg of CO2 emitted, representing an 89 percent reduction in emissions.

Mercedes truck

Photo by: Mercedes AMG

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said the truck trial was an example of the push his team has made to reduce carbon emissions.

He said: “Sustainability is at the core of our operations. The experience of using biofuels for our land freight is another example of our commitment to embed sustainability in every decision we make and action we take.

“We aim to be at the forefront of change and hope we can make sustainable technology adoption possible because we are all in the race for a sustainable tomorrow.”

HVO 100 is a 100 percent renewable fossil fuel derived from vegetable oils, waste oils and fats. In addition to reducing CO2 emissions from the fuel, it also produces lower emissions of nitrogen oxides and particulates

The Mercedes F1 team aims to be Net Zero by 2030, and has already become the first Grand Prix team to invest in sustainable aviation fuels.

It believes this alone will help it achieve a net 50 percent reduction in the team’s carbon footprint of racing personnel – which accounts for more than a quarter of its total emissions each year.

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