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21 April 2023

Kawasaki Racing Team And Elf Lubricants Unveil Solar Powered Hospitality Unit

Working in close partnership with key sponsor, Elf Lubricants, the Kawasaki Racing Team (KRT) unveiled their all-new Solar Power Unit (SPU) at the Assen round of the WorldSBK Championship on the eve of global Earth Day.

As part of a wider vision between KRT and Elf Lubricants, the opportunity to explore green and potentially carbon neutral technologies, channelled toward environmentally respectful motorsport, has resulted in a custom-made hospitality unit equipped with twelve roof mounted solar panels feeding green harvested electricity into a bank of Lithium-ion batteries. These batteries provide 100% of the energy needs of both the kitchen and general public areas of a vast double deck hospitality unit that can cater for over eighty guests at any one time.
Controlled via a monitoring and distribution panel in the kitchen area, or via a Smartphone App, the SPU is even able to maintain and add charge to the batteries while the vehicle is in transit between KRT’s base in Catalunya and the nine European rounds in the 2023 WorldSBK Championship. In addition to the ‘on site’ benefits, this also means the fridge and freezer compartments within the kitchen area of the hospitality unit can be maintained at a constant temperature while in transit, without requiring a feed using traditional fuel from the tractor unit. This efficiency alone has been calculated by the team as offering a saving in excess of 1200l of fuel annually.
Constructed in partnership with Barcelona based technology experts Neutral Carbon S.L., KRT are justifiably proud of this welcome and significant use of renewable, green technology as KRT Marketing Manager, Biel Roda explains:
“Like anything we do at KRT we are looking for maximum performance and the SPU has exceeded even our ambitious expectations. In terms of headline figures we estimate we will now save over 2000kg of CO2 emissions per year with a total energy generation figure of 40kW powering a hospitality unit with a kitchen that includes two fridges plus all the air conditioning units, lights and electrical appliances within the hospitality area.
Unusually in racing, although we think we may have won this particular race towards the goal of carbon neutrality, we hope other teams in the paddock will now follow suit making this KRT and Elf initiative fulfill a wider vision of environmentally respectful motorsport."
On behalf of series promoter Dorna, Executive Director of WorldSBK, Gregorio Lavilla commented:
“The important thing for me is the gesture to invest and make this kind of thing. Normally you come to a track and you connect your air-conditioner, etc, but who is paying the bills? Someone pays the bills, normally it is the circuits, and not all of them have green regeneration, so they have to pay the bill. So it is very interesting that someone decided to invest money from their pocket to do this. It is something we need to recognise and be proud of. I would like that more and more teams, after this gesture, start understanding the steps we need to take and all of us can do something. Congratulations and well done to all involved.”
From the FIM, President Jorge Viegas concluded:
“What is being done here is called decentralised energy production. This is the future but it is more than the future - it is the present. Many of you may already have photovoltaic panels on your house and at this moment that is the cheapest and most sustainable way to produce electricity. There is a long way to go but what you are doing here, I am sure, all the trucks here in the paddock will have, because it is the cheapest way and good for the planet. We must do our share and this is a very good example.”

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