The Mercedes team and Petronas, which supplies the team’s F1 fuel and lubricants, have been considering ways in which they can collaborate in the wider area of motorsport using alternative fuels.
Already, Mercedes is set to be involved in electric-powered motorsport with Formula E, the series for electric single-seat cars in 2019. Hydrogen-powered cars are scheduled to appear in the World Endurance Championship at Le Mans in the future.
The CEO of Petronas Lubricants International, Giuseppe D’Arrigo, is excited about the prospect of working with Mercedes to develop technology for alternative fuel types. With the two companies having been partners in F1 since 2010, they are a proven team. He explained that the diverse competitions mean the scope of their collaboration on technical solutions will extend beyond the race track and beyond racing itself – they are looking to see how they can be represented and be relevant in day-to-day motor use in addition to in motorsport.
D’Arrigo revealed Petronas is already in consultation with various original equipment manufacturers. They are working on fluids for battery packs and other motor fluids designed for hybrid power technology in vehicles such as buses, agricultural and other commercial vehicles.
Fuels of the future
Switching to sustainable alternative fuel systems will be a long process and D’Arrigo admits that it will not be available in the short term. He sees there being a transition through hybrid technology towards the clear goal of an electric vehicle that is sustainable and has little to no impact on the environment. With the UK and other countries pledging to ban the sale of new diesel and petrol vehicles within two decades, Petronas is taking alternative fuel solutions seriously and has made a pledge to spend 35 per cent of its budget on projects involving emission reduction.
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