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Extreme E off-road racing series transitions to Extreme H

Extreme E, the off-road racing series in which electric SUVs race against each other in remote parts of the world, is set to transition into Extreme H, a hydrogen -powered version of the sport.

The use of electric vehicles is not a token gesture towards environmentalism, climate concern is behind the sport’s very existence, designed as it is to raise awareness of climate change by racing in places that have already been damaged or affected by it.

The teams competing the event do not manufacture their own cars, instead they are all supplied with the same vehicle, in the case of Extreme E that was the Spark Odyssey 21.

Season 4 of the series – the last that will be electrically powered – is currently underway, with races taking place in Europe, Africa and the USA. Alongside the races, the organisers run a legacy programme, designed to ensure that the host country benefits from the race having been there. This year’s race in Jeddah will focus on the preservation and planting of coral, partnering with CORDAP, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and Ocean Revive.

After 4 seasons of electric racing, the sport’s conversion to hydrogen power was officially launched this week on the Extreme E ship, the St. Helena on the Thames. 

Having once once provided the island of St Helena with its only freight and passenger transport links to the mainland, the former Royal Mail cargo-passenger vessel was lavishly renovated  in 2020, being converted into a VIP hospitality and hotel facility to transport the teams and the vehicles to the various race destinations around the world.

The event also involved the unveiling of the new, hydrogen powered vehicle, the Pioneer 25.

The following day, Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme H, talked abut the evolution of the sport: ‘The evolution from Extreme E to Extreme H is one of the most thrilling advancements in motorsport and sustainable technology I have ever been part of.

‘When we launched Extreme E, our goal was to create a platform for innovation and solutions in mobility, showcasing what new technologies can achieve in the fight against climate change. Now, with Extreme H, we are taking that mission to a new level by embracing hydrogen, the magic molecule in the future of green power.

‘The evolution to Extreme H feels like a natural progression. It’s a testament to the success of Extreme E and our unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. The core values remain unchanged: we’re still dedicated to creating a pioneering motorsport series that emphasises sustainability, gender equality, and thrilling competition. However, with hydrogen, we’re stepping into an even more promising realm of clean energy.

‘Hydrogen’s potential is immense. It’s not just about e-mobility; it’s about creating green power solutions that can be applied anywhere, from remote locations to bustling cities. By launching Extreme H, we’re not only showcasing the viability of hydrogen as a fuel source but also testing the wider hydrogen ecosystem including recharging and hydrogen transportation – as well as helping to create a market for it. This aligns with our broader goal of reducing reliance on fossil fuels and achieving net-zero emissions.

‘What excites me most about Extreme H is its role in the energy transition. Green hydrogen, which we will use, is produced using renewable energy and emits no pollutants. This makes it the cleanest and most sustainable form of hydrogen. By being the first motorsport championship powered by green hydrogen, we’re setting a new standard and providing a unique platform for energy companies to test and develop hydrogen solutions.’

Paul Day
Paul is the editor of Public Sector News.


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