EESA Success Stories
Simulator Makes Green Racing Real
Helping consumers understand the benefits of advanced vehicle technologies is an important
aspect of market adoption. "Green Racing" is one way of demonstrating the benefits of
renewable fuels and vehicle tech that allows cars to consume less petroleum and emit less
greenhouse gases. "Green" race cars are now running in prestigious races hosted by the
American Le Mans Series and other race venues to demonstrate that cars can still be fast while
The Green Racing Simulator Trailer exhibits travels to venues all over the U.S.
To help consumers understand the benefits of
"green racing"--eco-friendly fuels, regenerative
braking, and advanced vehicle technologies and
fuels. To influence their vehicle buying decisions
and adoption of new technologies that will reduce
petroleum consumption in the U.S.
Argonne researcher Danny Bocci developed a green
racing simulation to help consumers experience
what it's like to drive a race car running on
alternative, eco-friendly fuels like E85 (a flex fuel
mixture of 85% denatured fuel ethanol and 15%
gasoline), using advanced vehicle technologies.
The simulator is based on the game Gran Tourismo
5 for the Playstation 3® gaming console, with
additional computers that monitor the race car's
speed, regenerative braking and boost (a method by
which energy from braking is stored for later use),
a "Hybrid Energy" gauge to show the amount of
energy stored and available, and additional gauges
to display the amount of nonrenewable petroleum that is being consumed.
Using real race engine data, the simulator also calculates the amount of petroleum fuel
consumed for both E85 and race fuel, and uses the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge criteria
(a race to consume the least fuel while optimizing performance) to calculate "green" scores for
driving based on how much petroleum the driver saves using the hybrid system.
The simulator has visited national races such as the American Le Mans' "Green Challenge." By
driving the simulated race car, consumers are able to experience for themselves that advanced
vehicle technologies and fuels will not keep them from what they value in a car: speed and
The Green Racing Simulator is now being installed in a traveling trailer exhibit that will debut at
green races throughout the U.S. this year.
"This simulation is a great way to teach folks about sustainable racing in a way they'll
remember. Hopefully, this experience will be a takeaway that will influence their
transportation decisions in the future," says Danny Bocci.