Solar power for new electric race track: MSV unveil plans for new 'green circuit' in France

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The world’s first dedicated ‘eco racing circuit’ could be up and running within four years according to new plans announced by MotorSport Vision (MSV).

The proposed site, known as Couvron, is located in north east France between Paris and Belgium on a 520-hectare former airfield.

“Having contemplated rising costs and the shift by major manufacturers from petrol and diesel cars – now due to be phased out in 2035 – to hybrid technology and battery electric vehicles (BEVs), MSV has identified an opportunity for Couvron to establish itself at the forefront of motorsport and the automotive industry’s push towards a greener future,” the company said in a statement.

MSV Couvron teaser artwork

“The new layout will be just as challenging, but the shorter route will be far better suited to BEVs.”

MSV purchased the site in 2015 and originally intended to build a five-mile circuit which would have been one of the fastest and longest in Europe, designed to showcase the prowess of high-performance cars.

However, after plans were approved in 2019, the Covid-19 pandemic intervened, prompting MSV to review the project. This resulted in a completely revised concept based on self-sufficiency, electric vehicles, a much shorter 2.2-mile layout and redesigned infrastructure, including a giant 300-hectare solar energy farm.

MSV Couvron circuit layout

MSV add that the smaller circuit will be quieter, with the solar park featuring extensive landscaping. There are already plans for six race events per year, and it will host manufacturer testing and development, promotional events and other corporate functions. Construction is expected within three years with operations beginning within four years.

“MSV has a great opportunity at Couvron to pioneer the ability for people to enjoy zero carbon motorsport by using battery electric vehicles charged from green electricity from a vast on-site solar park,” MSV Chief Executive, Jonathan Palmer, added. “We are fully committed to embracing a future low carbon world where we can.”

Petrol and diesel engined cars and motorcycles will also be welcome to use the circuit initially.