Kawasaki celebrates Earth Day 2023 with new solar-powered WorldSBK hospitality

The factory Kawasaki WorldSBK team has debuted a new solar-powered paddock hospitality unit as a recognition of Earth Day 2023.

Jonathan Rea, 2023 Dutch WorldSBK. - Gold and Goose

Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK has launched a new paddock hospitality unit which uses solely renewable energy as part of Earth Day 2023. 

The factory Kawasaki WorldSBK team’s new paddock hospitality has been created in partnership with its lubricants sponsor, Elf, and has debuted this weekend at the Dutch WorldSBK in Assen as a recognition of Earth Day 2023,which is today (22 April 2023).

The new hospitality is run on solar power, which is generated via 12 solar panels on the unit’s roof and stored in a bank of lithium-ion batteries. 

This means the new Kawasaki hospitality is both more sustainable than the previous one - as well as those of Kawasaki’s fellow WorldSBK teams - and is mostly non-reliant upon the central energy supply from the circuit, which should, theoretically, save the WorldSBK circuits some money.

At least, that should be true for the European circuits, since the hospitality unit will not travel to the fly-away races, as is the standard.

Kawasaki also says that the batteries can be charged via solar while the unit is in-transit to and from the team’s Barcelona base. This in-transit charging can save KRT as much as 1200 litres of fuel in a year, as previously generators were needed to power refrigerators during travel.

KRT Marketing Manager, Biel Roda said: “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 fulfil a wider vision of environmentally respectful motorsport."

On behalf of the WorldSBK series promoter, Dorna, the Executive Director of WorldSBK, Gregorio Lavilla, said: “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.”

FIM President Jorge Viegas added: “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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