Extreme H, world's first hydrogen-powered car race, unveils new model

Extreme H motorsport will kick off next year with 10 rounds of racing starting in Saudi Arabia in April before moving to Britain, Germany, Italy and t
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Extreme H Red Bull racing car
The Pioneer 25 SUV uses a 75 kw hydrogen fuel cell as principal energy source, with the car capable of accelerating from 0-100kph in 4.5 seconds and scale gradients of up to 130 per cent.
Extreme H Red Bull racing car
The Pioneer 25 SUV uses a 75 kw hydrogen fuel cell as principal energy source, with the car capable of accelerating from 0-100kph in 4.5 seconds and scale gradients of up to 130 per cent.

The world's first hydrogen race series, Extreme H, unveiled its new car on Thursday with a fresh focus on green technology and a shift away from racing in remote locations to raise awareness of climate change.

Extreme E, its predecessor, had aimed to promote sustainability and electric vehicles by racing SUVs in harsh areas already hit by environmental damage in a 'docu-sport' concept.

Founder Alejandro Agag told Reuters the switch to green hydrogen, produced by splitting water through electrolysis using renewable energy, meant a new mission.

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"The focus before was to showcase what is happening in those remote locations," he said at the launch in London on board the former mail ship St Helena that has served as a floating paddock and marine research platform.

"Now the focus is only to hydrogen technology, so we don't have that pressure of going to those remote locations to tell the story, we already did that.

"Now we can race closer to Europe, closer to the U.S. because those are the places where hydrogen has to be deployed."

Also Read : Max Verstappen confirms he will be staying with Red Bull for Formula 1 2025 season

The 10-round 2025 calendar will have an opener in Saudi Arabia in April with races in Britain, Germany, Italy before a finale in the United States.

Formula One champions Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton are among the existing team owners with seven times NASCAR Cup champion Jimmie Johnson also a competitor.

Extreme E, launched in 2021 with identical SUVs and male and female drivers in every lineup, had ventured as far as Senegal, Greenland, Chile and Uruguay, but the St Helena's future is now uncertain.

"It was amazing when we were in Greenland on this ship but very few sponsors could come, very few partners. It's too far," said Agag. "I would love to keep it, we still have to make a decision because it's very costly.

"And if we don't go far away it loses a bit it's reason of being. But it's a great place to lead the experience of the races."

Agag said he planned to continue Extreme E's legacy programmes.

Also Read : Canadian driver Lance Stroll to continue with Aston Martin into 2026 F1 season

The Pioneer 25 SUV uses a 75kw hydrogen fuel cell as principal energy source, with the car capable of accelerating from 0-100kph in 4.5 seconds and scale gradients of up to 130%.

Red Bull will join as a sponsor with Saudi investment fund PIF the series' principal partner.

"We are going to be the first ones really racing on hydrogen for I think quite some time," said Agag. “We have a car that races, that has been tested for 1500km and we are ready to go. There will be an H championship next year."

First Published Date: 28 Jun 2024, 09:05 AM IST
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