Israel Start-Up Nation begin using electric cars during races with aim for whole fleet to go 'green'

The team have begun testing out electric vehicles at the currently ongoing Tour of Germany

Israel Start-Up Nation
(Image credit: Getty)

Israel Start-Up Nation have started using electric cars at bike races with a view to having their fleet of vehicles eventually going fully "green" should the trial prove successful.

The WorldTour outfit are currently using the cars for the first time at the Tour of Germany by soigneurs needing to reach feed zones on the course and to transport staff and riders to the start and back to the hotel after the finish.

The team estimates its 20 cars do around 50,000km a season, meaning they are driving one million kilometres every year, creating two million grams of nitric oxide, "a significant amount of pollution".

“We believe it’s the right thing to do,” team manager Kjell Carlstrom said. “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.

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"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.”

The logistical complications caused by electric cars' limited range and need to recharge have hampered their introduction to the large convoy of vehicles that accompany bike races, but with technology improving this is proving to be less of a problem.

At the Tour of Germany, Israel Start-Up Nation will be using a Lexus with a range of 400km and plan to use a Skoda at upcoming races that can go as far as 529km.

“When I first heard that the team would be moving towards having a fleet of hybrids and electric vehicles, I was very excited," said rider Michael Woods, who has already pledged to go carbon neutral and offset his emissions this year. "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.”

“The technology is moving very fast. I am a big car enthusiast and I follow the improvements quite closely," added Brit Alex Dowsett. "It’s definitely the right direction and we need to do this for our planet’s climate."

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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.

Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).

I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.