14 Replies Latest reply on Mar 22, 2016 8:52 AM by Didier Rougeyron

    Electric racers to light up Paris landmark

    Victor Fontaine

      Reminder following the conversation of Marielle Khayat in 2015 "How do you imagine the futur of racing"

       

      Paris will host the formula E competition the 23rd of April. The race will take place at the Invalide, formula e will follow a loop around the streets below the Eiffel Tower just a stone's throw from the River Seine.

       

      160114114912-formula-e-epix-paris-layout-exlarge-169.jpg

       

      This event has been relayed by a lot of celebrities such as DiCaprio and Branson. It is a good way to promote electric cars in Paris. Anne Hidalgo said : "This event will be treated like a popular party, which will link sporting values and the environment. It will be a very nice way to promote electric mobility to a massive audience which is a priority for Paris."


      "Locating tracks in major cities is an important part of Formula E's overall strategy, enabling easy access for spectators as well as showcasing more environmentally friendly vehicles in an urban setting."

       

      This topic has been discussed already, however :

      Have you got more information on the partners of this race ? What are their expectations ?

      What might be the impact in Paris regarding Mobility consumption ?

       

      Michelle Vuillerot Quentin Elixander Patrice Person Jérôme Petitjean Didier Rougeyron

        • Re: Electric racers to light up Paris landmark

          As Michelin is one of the partners of Formula E, I can say that we want to

          demonstrate that low rolling resistance tires are a range extender for

          cars and it is of prime importance for EVs. It is also a way to

          demonstrate that it is possible to fit the car with the same tire on dry

          and wet roads.

          • Re: Electric racers to light up Paris landmark
            Didier Rougeyron

            Absolutely Victor Fontaine this a very nice way to promote electric mobility. However the presentation of the circuit in Paris was marked by a real political consensus around the event. And then the race, Saturday, April 23, around the Invalides will be a great showcase for Paris some months after the summit COP21… a beautiful showcase also for Michelin and all the partners !

              • Re: Electric racers to light up Paris landmark
                Victor Fontaine

                Thank you Didier Rougeyron ! You are right, it is a very political event.

                Do you know if there is a link made between COP21 and this race ?

                  • Re: Electric racers to light up Paris landmark
                    Didier Rougeyron

                    Clearly, move cars without directly rejecting CO2 is a good thing. But if CO2 is produced upstream via thermal or nuclear power plants, at the end Formula E does not help the planet... So for me the question here is how to generate green energy? For long-term Formula E must be able to generate its own electricity, for example to roll the cars with solar panels. I'm sure it will be possible and probably in a near future!

                      • Re: Electric racers to light up Paris landmark

                        I guess that fuel cells could be a very nice option...and use the solar panels to produce the hydrogen

                        • Re: Electric racers to light up Paris landmark
                          Michael Reich

                          How does a nuclear plant produce CO2 in any measurable quantities?

                           

                          Electrolysis of water, by definition, requires electricity.   It is an extremely inefficient means of producing hydrogen.  Most hydrogen is produced from the steam reforming or partial oxidation of methane.  So hydrogen is a basically a fossil fuel.  That being said, hydrogen is responsible for about 1/3 of the people on this planet being alive as it is used to produce ammonia in the Haber-Bosch  process.

                            • Re: Electric racers to light up Paris landmark
                              Didier Rougeyron

                              Michael Reich thank you for your comment. Indeed, nuclear power emits CO2 if we include all stages of the industry. However less than renewables energies as detailed in an analysis available on the following website (in French):

                              http://energie.lexpansion.com/energie-nucleaire/le-nucleaire-emet-moins-de-co2-que-le-solaire-et-l-eolien_a-32-5396.html

                               

                              Now what do you think about the technology ‘electric/ hydrogen’ of the GreenGT car? This seems to work well, moreover the vehicle was invited to participate in the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours event. The principle is explained in the following video :

                                • Re: Electric racers to light up Paris landmark
                                  Michael Reich

                                  If you include all aspects of production for nuclear, you must do the same for the alternative forms of energy.  Solar cells are a great example.  At present, we are using them in novelty amounts.  If we ever start to use them in quantities that would match nuclear power plant outputs, the "carbon price" for extracting cadmium and telluride will easily exceed the amounts for the production of nuclear fuel.  I think people would be truly alarmed if they were to consider the scarcity of some of the materials being used and suggested in the manufacture of solar PV cells.

                                   

                                  The video is cute.  It keeps referring to "clean hydrogen".  Please explain to me how the production of hydrogen is any cleaner than the carbon fuel that it is produced from, natural gas.

                                   

                                  Currently, H2 is made primarily from steam reforming with methane:

                                   

                                  H2O + CH4  = CO + 3H2

                                   

                                  Generally, carbon monoxide is not usable to any great extent, so it is further processed as:

                                   

                                  CO + H2O = CO2 + H2

                                   

                                  Now, you have the same dreaded CO2 that you would have had if you had just burned the natural gas to begin with.  In the meantime, you had to drive around in a Zeppelin, with a more limited range than natural gas.  And let's not go down the metal hydride road....

                                    • Re: Electric racers to light up Paris landmark
                                      Didier Rougeyron

                                      Absolutely agree with you Michael Reich, for each fuel we must take into account the cycle of the well to the wheel, that is to say from production to use. Now if I understand you correctly, replace oil and gas with hydrogen only relevant when that can produce low-carbon way. I see that Air Liquide has set up the initiative Blue Hydrogen so that 50% of its hydrogen energy applications are covered by low carbon or zero carbon means by 2020. This maybe can change the game :

                                      http://www.natura-sciences.com/energie/production-hydrogene-propre528.html

                                       

                                      And here's an even cuter scheme to show (as simply as possible ) the principle of the fuel cell car:

                                      voiture-hydrogene_Peter-Welleman-domaine-public.jpg

                                                                                                                                               © Peter Welleman, public domain

                                       

                                      So, a fuel cell car uses hydrogen and produces water. But as we said production of this hydrogen may have caused the emission of pollutants and greenhouse gases.

                                       

                                      We should seek advice from specialists of hydrogen: what do you think?

                                        • Re: Electric racers to light up Paris landmark
                                          Michael Reich

                                          I do not know if I am a specialist in hydrogen, even though I was the leader of a team that built a hydrogen powered car in 1979.  I understand the promise, but it is such circular logic.  We will use biomass to produce the methane, but we must grow the biomass with ammonia, which uses hydrogen, which is produced by the biomass.

                                           

                                          I think that fuel density and volatility are also considerations.  Hydrogen does not offer the range that most people will require, especially in the US and when compared to other motive types.  The volatility is an important issue, as it will require trained technicians for refueling.  Not sure if the driver will be allowed to remain in the vehicle or moved to a secure location during this time.

                                           

                                          I guess we can look to Japan to see their success in the future as they are committing fully to H2.  They will produce it with methane and the gigantic LNG tankers are already headed their way from the US.

                                           

                                          This has been a tough realization for me personally after almost 40 years of H2 advocacy.