Extreme E and AFC Energy have completed and tested a hydrogen fuel cell system that will be used at their races. The technology will allow Extreme E to charge its electric race fleet using zero emission energy. The only by-product of the system will be water that can be utilized elsewhere during each of the series five races.
The hydrogen fuel cell generator is part of six months of collaborative effort between Extreme E and AFC Energy. Once created, the system underwent a month of testing in AFC’s Surrey, England facility. The test included battery management and infrastructure testing.
“Hydrogen fuel cell charging in the world of motorsport is truly ground breaking, and Extreme E is the first event of its kind to utilize this technology,” said series founder and CEO Alejandro Agag, in a release. “The product from AFC Energy offers an end-to-end emission-free solution for running our electric vehicles, and I hope it will inspire other organizations to investigate sustainable low emission alternatives when running their events.
“The sign-off from the team is a real milestone for Extreme E, and I’m looking forward to seeing the hydrogen fuel cell in action at our first race in Saudi Arabia in just a couple of months’ time. It has not been easy to get where we are today, but the team has been more determined than ever to make Extreme E a reality, because the climate crisis isn’t on hold for anyone or anything.”
Extreme E is a rally-style racing series that will use Odyssey 21 electric SUVs in its first season and will race in five areas of the globe most affected by climate change. An additional purpose of the series is to create and test systems that are more environmentally friendly, while pushing the edge of performance.
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“Hydrogen continues to gain momentum as a viable worldwide platform that affords a key solution to the decarbonization of sectors where electrification and grid infrastructure is absent,” said Adam Bond, CEO of AFC Energy. “Extreme E’s vision to use motorsport as a platform to introduce new technologies, such as fuel cell technology, to support this goal is to be congratulated and AFC Energy is very proud to be associated with such a landmark initiative.
“I look forward to Extreme E and AFC Energy’s teams working closely together to make the championship a success in 2021 whilst properly highlighting the climate change challenges faced by different ecosystems to encourage global decarbonization.”
Unveiling the @AFCEnergy hydrogen fuel cell generator!
This technology will allow Extreme E to charge its race fleet using zero emission energy, with the only by-product being water for utilisation elsewhere at each of its five races.
— Extreme E (@ExtremeELive) January 28, 2021
The use of hydrogen fuel has further ramifications. Last year the government of the United Kingdom announced a 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution. Two of the points, driving the growth of low carbon hydrogen and accelerating the shift to zero emission vehicles, have a direct correlation to the technology.
The hydrogen fuel system will now be transported to the St. Helena, a retrofitted cargo ship that will serve as the series’ floating home, before it embarks in mid-February. The first stop in Extreme E’s season will be Saudi Arabia in April.