Hydrogen-powered Extreme H rally series set for 2025 launch | Top Gear
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Hydrogen-powered Extreme H rally series set for 2025 launch

Coming to a wilderness far away from you… courtesy of the makers of Extreme E

Published: 01 Sep 2023

Work is underway to launch Extreme H - a hydrogen-powered sister series to the electric rallying category that is Extreme E - as early as 2025.

First mentioned early last year, the FIA and the people behind Extreme E have now signed a Memorandum of Understanding (yup, legal speak for a pinkie promise) to introduce the new off-road championship, with a view to it gaining official World Championship status in 2026.

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Under the plans, Extreme E itself could get the same upgrade next year: at the moment it’s merely listed as an International Series.

That’s pretty much it as far as details go, with no word yet on how the Odyssey 21 will be adapted for hydrogen-based propulsion. But with sustainability and not wrecking the planet at the heart of both series, you’d think they’d race side by side to save money. And emissions.

Extreme E travels the globe aboard the St Helena cargo vessel, and there must be some room going spare for a fleet of hydrogen-powered 4x4 racers…

“Establishing alongside the FIA a world-first hydrogen racing world championship will be a momentous milestone for Extreme E and the new Extreme H series,” said Alejandro Agag, founder and CEO of Extreme E. “Eventual accreditation as an FIA Championship and then an FIA World Championship means we would be amongst the top tier of global motorsport categories, and Extreme H would be the first-ever world championship racing series of its kind.

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“This announcement is a significant first step in the development of our championship and our ground-breaking transition to hydrogen-powered racing. Sport is the most powerful and effective platform to drive innovation and our commitment to delivering sustainable motorsport championships full of excitement and with a reduced carbon footprint are testament to that.

Meanwhile, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem added: “We are excited to continue working with Extreme E on their journey to becoming an FIA World Championship. Using sustainable power sources in motor sport is the key objective of the FIA and part of our long-term strategy, and this series is an ideal showcase for that. Hydrogen is an important part of that mix, and we have developed a set of safety regulations for hydrogen-powered vehicles which is part of the FIA’s International Sporting Code.

“It is encouraging that such a major motor sport entity as Extreme E with its renowned line-up of teams sees the same potential in hydrogen technology. Their approach to equality and diversity matches ours as we push to make motor sport accessible for all.

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Apparently a prototype is in the works and it's set to be revealed later this year. Reckon it’ll get the jump on Toyota’s hydrogen Le Mans racer?

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