F1 and DHL to deliver European leg of season with biofuel-powered trucks

18 new vehicles added to logistics operation, expected to cut carbon emissions by at least 60%.

Formula One and DHL will deliver the European leg of the 2023 season with biofuel-powered trucks.

Confirmed:

  • Move is expected to cut carbon emissions by at least 60 per cent
  • DHL’s first biofuel truck fleet consists of 18 new vehicles running on HVO100 drop-in fuel (hydrotreated vegetable oil)
  • These trucks will cover approximately 10,600 kilometres across this season’s European races while emitting less carbon
  • New DHL fleet will provide the same performance in terms of load capacity and travel distance as its diesel counterpart

Context: This announcement marks another important step in Formula One’s sustainability strategy announced in 2019, wherein developing a more sustainable logistics network was emphasised. The partnership with DHL has led to multiple initiatives intended to lower the sport's carbon footprint.

These initiatives include transitioning to a more remote broadcast operation, testing multi-modal transport opportunities such as overland and ocean freight, and adapting freight containers to fit the more efficient Boeing 777 aircraft, reducing carbon emissions by 18 per cent compared to the traditional 747 aircraft.

Moreover, DHL trucks are equipped with GPS to track fuel consumption and optimise more efficient delivery routes during Formula One events.

Comment: Ellen Jones, head of environmental, social and governance at Formula One, said: “We are a sport which operates on a global scale and DHL play a critical role in delivering the races and helping us address the logistical impact we have as a world championship.

“Together, we are continually looking for more sustainable solutions, and through innovations such as the biofueled trucks we’re able to take the next step forward in reducing our carbon emissions and achieving our sustainability goal of being Net Zero by 2030. It is wonderful to see partners like DHL share the same drive and commitment to creating a more sustainable Formula One.”

Conseqence: Switching to a biofuel truck fleet makes all the right noises for Formula One, with logistics contributing to around two-thirds of the global motorsport series’ emissions. However, targeting the European leg of the calendar doesn’t hold as much weight as it might have done several years ago.

Formula One stops off in Europe nine times in 2023, just under 40 per cent of the overall calendar. A new race in South Africaor an additional Saudi Arabian event – would likely be added at the expense of a traditional circuit in Europe, with the French Grand Prix already falling victim to Formula One’s global expansion. The Belgian Grand Prix appears particularly vulnerable if a new race is added for 2024.

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