ISN Announcement :
Israel Start-Up Nation to begin the transformation to a fleet of “green” cars for racing
The team will test two new models of electric vehicles in upcoming races, starting with the Tour of Germany, with the aim of transitioning to a full fleet of hybrid and electric cars as soon as possible
Team manager: “We want to take a stand and do our part to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. It’s a moral obligation, to lead by example”
Sylvan Adams: “ISN is showing leadership”
Mike Woods: “I am excited. It’s a significant move”
“We believe it’s the right thing to do,” stated ISN Team Manager Kjell Carlstrom. “We want to take a stand here. Transitioning to greener vehicles will reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, which will result in health benefits for the riders and even the spectators. With the planet’s ongoing climate crisis, it is our moral obligation to do what we can as a team, and if we can lead the way for others to follow, it will be brilliant.”
Professional cycling teams use large fleets of cars, trucks, and buses to support their riders in hundreds of races worldwide, and the ISN team is no exception. The team operates over 20 vehicles, each of which can travel up to 50,000 km in a single season, totaling around 1 million kilometers a year.
“A gasoline-powered car emits 2 grams of nitric oxide per kilometer, so when you go a million kilometers, it creates a significant amount of pollution,” explained Dr. Arye Vanger, an Atmospheric Chemist and Head of Energy & Air at the Israel Union for Environmental Defense, Israel’s leading watchdog organization for environmental issues.
“ISN’s commitment to green transformation is especially important as a message to sports teams around the world and especially in pro cycling. The transition to green vehicles is the responsible way of protecting the health of the cyclists, the millions of spectators who line the roads, and the whole planet. Assuming we see a large-scale move in this direction, this may significantly reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions with the aim of achieving almost completely clean transportation in the future.”
One of the most complicated challenges that has thus far hampered the transformation was the limited range of electric cars and the need to recharge, which created logistical pressure on the already complex operation surrounding a race.
“The ultimate goal is to become as green as the current technology will allow, taking into account the logistical constraints that come with running a cycling team,” explained Team Manager Carlstrom. “That’s why we will now put a few models of full-electric cars in different races starting on stage two of the Tour of Germany with one of the full electric models. We want to gain experience and collect data that will help us begin the transformation next season.”
In the Tour of Germany, the team will test the LEXUS UX 300e with a maximum range of 400 km. (https://www.lexus.eu/car-models/ux-300e/) – Supplied by Emil Frey.
And in other select upcoming races the team will test a Skoda ENYAQ iv 80, Skoda’s first full-electric SUV offering a range of up to 529 km.( https://www.skoda.co.uk/new-cars/enyaq-iv/80)
These cars will be an integral part of the team’s fleet of vehicles and will perform several tasks during various race, including reaching feed zones along the course to support the riders, and transporting the staff and sometimes the riders to the race or from the finish line.
The transition to using green vehicles in the ISN fleet is one significant piece of a larger team initiative called “Racing for Change,” which provides an opportunity for the team and its riders to take on projects to affect and better people’s lives. The first initiative under this banner was launched in Rwanda earlier this year when the team adopted and began supporting the only women’s cycling team in the country.
Using the platform of sport to make positive change and highlight the ‘normal’ but exemplary Israel, is an ethos deeply rooted in the foundation of the team. Team co-owner Sylvan Adams noted, “We are committed to using our sport and its immense popularity to promote positive social change. This electric car initiative is intended to point the way towards a greener, more viable sport, and to encourage the same in our general society. Israel is a technological leader, so it is entirely appropriate that ISN is showing leadership in this and many other important social projects. ‘Racing for change’ is a philosophy, not just a slogan.”
The decision to go green was also welcomed by its riders, especially Canadian star Mike Woods, who launched a personally driven project earlier this year to reduce and offset the carbon dioxide emissions incurred by his life as a pro rider.
Woods: “When I first heard that the team would be moving towards having a fleet of hybrids and electric vehicles, I was very excited. This is a significant move in the WorldTour and thinking like this is going to help the sport of pro cycling become more environmentally friendly. I am very proud that my team is taking responsibility for its environmental impact and leading by example.”
Alex Dowsett who is racing in the Tour of Deutschland said that he is very pleased with the team’s decision: “The technology is moving very fast. I am a big car enthusiast and I follow the improvements quite closely. It’s definitely the right direction and we need to do this for our planet’s climate”.
Last word to Adams, who attended an event August 11th at the ISN title-sponsor Start-Up Nation Central headquarters in Tel Aviv announcing the creation of the annual $1 million Israel Climate Change prize. “Israel leads the world in areas such as agriculture, water management, desalination, autonomous mobility, telecommunications, and high-tech. Israelis are winners in every area we decide to prioritize. I have no doubt that Israel can be a world leader in tackling climate change. With forward thinking partners like SNC, we will find technological solutions to this critical problem. ISN is proud to carry the banner all over the world in support of Israeli innovation and solutions to complex issues.”
— Tsadok to israelcyclingacademy.com