Extreme E organisers have announced plans to roll out a hydrogen off-road racing championship starting in 2024.
The news was announced by Extreme E CEO Alejandro Agag at the all-electric competition's 2022 season-opener in Saudi Arabia.
“Extreme E was designed to be a testbed for innovation and solutions for mobility,” said Agag.
“It has become increasingly clear to us that creating a hydrogen racing series is a natural evolution of our mission to showcase the possibilities of new technologies in the race to fight climate issues.
“Together with the current Extreme E teams we will decide in the coming months the best way to integrate the Hydrogen powered cars into the racing weekend.
“Two separate categories, full transition to hydrogen or joint racing are all options on the table.
“Extreme E is an FIA International Series and our intention is to work closely again with the FIA and the Automobile Club de Monaco on the development of Extreme H.
“Sport is the fastest and most effective platform for driving innovation, and by using the existing Extreme E platform we can also utilise our transport, talent and operations to ensure we are minimising footprint in the process.
“This effectively means we can have double the race action, with marginal additional impact.”
Extreme H will join Extreme E at events and run the same powertrain and chassis, but with a hydrogen fuel cell.
“It is fitting to launch the concept of Extreme H here in Neom, a place with huge ambition around clean energy solutions, and the perfect example of a location which can and will become home to large-scale green hydrogen production and distribution,” Agag added.
Formula 1 world champion and JBXE team owner Jenson Button threw his support behind the Extreme H concept.
“For Extreme E to be evolving into Extreme H is incredibly exciting and a brilliant step forward in such a short space of time for the series,” said Button.
“To see racing of this calibre powered by hydrogen cells, which will allow for even more racing with less impact, is remarkable.”
Extreme E Scientific Committee member Peter Wadhams hailed Extreme H an “exciting” development.
“I have seen hydrogen power in action in Orkney, where hydrogen is created in the outer islands using wind power, compressed and brought to Kirkwall by ferry, then used to power the Kirkwall fleet of public service vehicles,” said Wadhams, who is also head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group.
“There are so many exciting possibilities of this kind which will be supported and energised by the publicity given to hydrogen vehicles by Extreme E.”