MSV ‘eco track’ plans unveiled

| | World News
Picture: MSV

Renewable energy, green motor racing, MSV has released plans for the world’s first self-sufficient eco circuit in France.

MotorSport Vision has unveiled fresh proposals for its Couvron development in north-east France, with a view to establishing the site as the world’s first self-sufficient circuit. The updated plans place a major emphasis on renewable energy, with the venue acting as a global leader in progressive, green motor racing and automotive activities.

“MSV has a great opportunity at Couvron to pioneer the ability for people to enjoy carbon zero motorsport by using battery electric vehicles charged from green electricity from a vast on-site solar park, which is really exciting,” MotorSport Vision Chief Executive Jonathan Palmer explained.

“We are fully committed to embracing a future low carbon world where we can.

“We recognise however that motorsport, which represents a minuscule fraction of the use of conventional fuels as compared to road transport, can only evolve in any significant way from using fossil fuels when affordable technology allows it to do so viably.”

The 520-hectare former airfield near Couvron-et-Aumencourt was purchased by MSV in 2015, adding to its already well-established portfolio of UK circuits. With the pandemic halting progress on its original infrastructure plans, the changing global outlook has provided a catalyst to review and amend the initial ideas. The opportunity for Couvron to establish itself at the forefront of motorsport and the automotive industry’s push towards a greener future was identified as the industry steers itself towards hybrid and sustainable technology.

Key changes being explored involve the heavily revised circuit design, which will be reduced from 8km across 220 hectares of land to 3.5km over 40 hectares. The previously proposed track would have been one of the fastest and longest in Europe, designed to showcase the prowess of high-performance cars, many of which rely on powerful petrol engines now due to be phased out in 2035. The new layout aims to be just as challenging to drive, but the shorter route will be far better suited to battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

Energy for BEV use will come from a major on-site photovoltaic (PV) park generating renewable power from solar energy. Approximately 300 hectares of land will be allocated for PV energy production, through which an estimated 350 MWp of electricity would be produced. This particular part of the project, will form one of Europe’s largest PV green energy parks with construction expected within the next three years.

Petrol and diesel engine cars and motorcycles will also use the circuit initially, whilst they continue to form a key part of the commercial and motorsport landscape.