View Full Version : Make F1 - Electric cars only...

You want it when?
28th May 2008, 19:48
Now those that know me, know I am partial to my v8's with fuel consumpion considered good if it breaks 15 mpg.


If we really want to break the oil foot hold, then surely F1 should be made electric? Within one year we would have so many advances in battery life, energy management, and rapid replacement that the Prius would be considered with the same horror as an 4x4 is now.

What does the Pprune community think?

28th May 2008, 19:51
Well, why not go the other way and run F1 cars on whale oil, polar bears, baby seals, and spotted owls? Should be plenty of those resouces left...

28th May 2008, 20:01
Been done, it's called Scalextric.

Don't Indycars run on Methanol? Why not go down that road?

I wouldn't be favour of it anyway. Don't want to pander to the global warming creatures as it is.

Besides electricity generation is one of the biggest producers of CO2 even more than transport.

Solar powered is the way to go. However that will mean the end of the British Grand Prix.:p

28th May 2008, 20:06
Solar powered is the way to go

Nah. If we can run subs and ships off nuclear propulsion it's good enough for cars, buses, trains, etc. Either that or hydrogen fuel cells. Solar power requires huge fecking batteries.


28th May 2008, 20:10
Besides electricity generation is one of the biggest producers of CO2 even more than transport. If you say so, though I doubt it.

In any event, electricity being produced by one source means scrubbers and CO2 collectors can be deployed far more efficiently than within the transport model.

Whatever, I say ban the entire motor racing thing anyway on the grounds of its horrific boredom. :zzz:

good point in the initial post though.

28th May 2008, 21:24
I have a vision of F1 cars being raced around "Fred Flintstone" style...

Within a year we could then travel from Lands End to John O Groats with a deft flick of a foot.

P.S. I still have a silly crush on Betty Rubble.

28th May 2008, 21:42
P.S. I still have a silly crush on Betty Rubble.


Always preferred Wilma myself...

28th May 2008, 22:56
Always preferred Wilma myself...

The peeping nip surroundy get to ya?

28th May 2008, 23:11
Energy conversion wise, electricity generation IS the largest CO2 producer. Consider the crappy ratios of burning coal to steam to electricity, to the heat left to escape into the atmosphere, to the heat generated by the transmission systems (apparently in the US the loss of transmission is up to 25% of the total energy shoved into the wires on the generation end - and that's officially from the DoE).

Organisations like DuPont (the chemicals company) have adjusted their systems internally in their chemical complexes to co-generation to be able to capture more of the heat and re-use it, which means they need to consume less energy overall while still being able to generate the amount of electricity they need. In some cases, they even sell their electricity on to the local grid because it's more efficient than to just let it go up in smoke (steam).

The problem with electricity is (even with green electricity) that the CO2 footprint of the unit of electricity is either pushed to the generation end, or the actual manufacturing end (for solar, wind, etc). While it's out of sight, out of mind, it does not mean it's green or CO2 neutral.


28th May 2008, 23:28
It seems that the days of Formula One being a proving-ground for production-car features (such as disc brakes) has long-since been discontinued. Such features as anti-skid braking and traction control are now banned in F1, whilst current aerodynamic devices are unlikely to be adopted for road-vehicles (although ground-effect a la Chaparral might have had a future IMO).
How about fuel-cells though? It must be easily thirty years ago when fuel cells were thought to be 'the answer' . . .

There are 'competitive' electric sports-cars though:-

28th May 2008, 23:31
I think F1 has more pressing issues on its mind than saving the environment... :E

Buster Hyman
29th May 2008, 00:04
Make F1 - Electric cars only...

What a shocking suggestion. Did you think long & hard about it, or was it a bolt out of the blue? I'm sure the sparks will fly when Bernie wakes up.

Ok, I'm done....

29th May 2008, 00:07
That's ample what what? . . .

Howard Hughes
29th May 2008, 00:23
What about Nuclear Power? Would be a great incentive not to crash!:E

PS: Whatever they are powered by Mark Webber will still be all hype and no substance...;)

29th May 2008, 00:25
What's the smallest possible nuclear reactor?

Buster Hyman
29th May 2008, 00:31
Dwarf star?

Howard! Shame on you. := Mark's the pride of Queanbeyan I'll have you know. Besides, with a reactor on board his red bull, he'd go like stink! (...or, should that be glow?)

29th May 2008, 00:40
Most nuclear power plants are built to produce hundreds of megawatts because of economics. Critical fission reactors have a theoretical minimum size much much lower than that, probably just a few dozen kilowatts. Subcritical reactors could be made even smaller. The smallest type of nuclear reactor is a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator, or RTG. This is what they use on space probes such as Pioneer, Voyager, and Galileo. RTGs usually produce less than 100 watts, barely enough to run a computer and a radio.

29th May 2008, 00:41
Interesting suggestion!

I think it would probably be more useful in something like WRC where weight isnt as much as a consideration as F1 and engine responsiveness and production of torque is of utmost importance (something that electric engines excel at: 100% torque at 0 RPM).

It also means that advances could more readily be applied to road going cars since the WRC cars are based on road car floor pans etc- Nothing like stropping down a dirt road at 150kmh to test reliability of components!

Good points about the problems actually making the volts in the first place though...we still havent developed a truly clean way of making it but trying to 'close the loop' would have benefits. By that I mean, solar and wind arent as 'green' as they could be because they still rely on 'dirty' electricty to power the factories that make them in the first place. If the factories, vehicles and machines involved in making solar and wind tech were powered by electricity generated by those means, it would reduce the 'dirtyness' of them and close the loop.

29th May 2008, 00:49
In the 1970s (from mid 60s) I worked for an engineering manufacturing concern that generated their own electricity (and heating) on-site, though I don't recall what fuel was used. A big thing was made of the 'efficiency' of the plant and the independence from outside energy sources.
The factory no longer exists . . .

29th May 2008, 01:08
As an aside, Toyota raced a hybrid version of a Supra in a race recently and won it..making it the first Hybrid race car to win a race.

"The Denso SARD Supra HV-R, a retired 480-horsepower Super GT car converted to run as a hybrid with regenerative braking, in-wheel-motors in front, and a larger electric motor for the rear wheels, has won the Tokachi 24-hour race. It's the first win of its type for a hybrid vehicle. The Supra completed 616 laps -- 19 more than the second-place car."

29th May 2008, 01:42
One of the biggest changes in the last 40 years has been how we use steam. In many cases, we have electrical airconditioning, electric/gas-fired heating, and many processes where the old steam power was replaced with electricity because it was 'cleaner' and 'more convenient'.

There are still several places where you can see steam infrastructure around (thickly insulated pipes on pylons carrying steam for miles), but whether it is still being used is another question.

I know Milton Keynes has a plan for a CHP plant in the center of town (just west of the 'core') that will provide the core with power and temperature control. Interesting idea - how the wheel turns.


29th May 2008, 01:58
There are lots of interesting ways of making steam (for electricity production) as well- One of them involves, fairly simply, piping water down into the earth to heat it then using the resultant steam to run a turbine- Here in New Zealand we use Geothermal for a decent proportion of our Electrical generation (with a new plant being made at the moment near Kawerau) but this is naturally occurring geothermal activity (as opposed to the deep drills needed for the 'hot rock' steam generation)

29th May 2008, 02:26
In the 1980s, several urban (and some rural) districts in Denmark were supplied with 'district heating' whereby hot water was piped through insulated underground pipes from regional heating plants fuelled by garbage and/or straw from agriculture. Householders were metered according to the flow of hot water (and this could be regulated by means of valves) and it was a challenge to arrange the flow so that maximum temperature drop between inflowing and outflowing hot water was achieved, thus extracting maximum energy for a given metered volume charged-for.
Of course, electricity was still required for lighting and cookng (there was no mains gas).
Some 60% of the Danish population is thus kept warm by district heating.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/District_heating

29th May 2008, 11:20
Timmo, absolutely... geothermal and using the earth as a heatpump is part of what experts believe to be an important part of making a house CO2-neutral - heatpumps especially.

District heating is still widely used in NYC (Manhattan) - the only problem is when a steam pipe ruptures (like it did a few months ago) - It looks, feels and leaves damage like a bomb. If done right though, it can mean a real drop in heating/generation costs (and landfill if we didn't have the NIMBY's we have now). I'd definitely prefer Didcot A to be turned into a rubbish incinerator if the filtering can be put in place (to filter out dioxins and the like that inevitably are created when burning rubbish).


29th May 2008, 12:05
Check out the A123 range of batteries and read about the science behind them. A123 Racing (http://www.a123racing.com/html/testimonials.html#billdube)

Tricky Woo
29th May 2008, 12:05
Hmm, there's an opportunity here for making F1 carbon neutral.

Cover most of the empty bits around the racing track with solar cells, and channel the generated electricity to a loooooooooong scalextric slot wot goes around the middle of the track. All F1 cars are electric, naturally, apart from the odd Minardi or whatever they're called these days who can't afford the development costs, and therefore have to run sodding big petrol engines. Poor lambs.

When the sun doth shine, then said F1 cars go round like billy-oh. Consider Bahrain and other sunny places. When the sun doth not shine muchly, then they all slow down. If the sky turns thunderous, then they all stop safely.

One considered adding those parallel slots so the cars have natural places to overtake, maybe just a few short stretches which are parallel and then the rest is just single slot. But when I thought it through properly, I realised we don't wanna risk destroying F1's charm by reintroducing on-track overtaking for the first time in 30 years.

Overtaking should be conducted in the pits, as every world champion knows.


p.s. That git Lewis won last Sunday. The only F1 'personality' who gets on my t1ts more than that slimy [email protected] is his even slimier [email protected] of a father. Hope that helps.

29th May 2008, 23:03
I dunno about electric f1 cars but how about diesel?
You boys and girls in Europe have the right idea and use diesel a lot more than we do in Australia.The competition in f1 would develop the oil burners in leaps and bounds.
They keep talking about trying to slow down the cars and the weight of the diesel motors and fuel would do that alright.
One problem I could see would be fuel spills and if it was on track it would be a right mess.