Extreme H unveils the Pioneer 25 Hydrogen-Powered Race Car

Extreme H has unveiled their Pioneer 25 hydrogen-powered race car, and you will get all the details in this week’s Sustainable Motorsport Roundup. I also have the details on Indycar’s new hybrid power unit, Mercedes F1’s investment in carbon removal initiatives and the latest developments in electric drag racing. All this and more in this edition of the Sustainable Motorsport Roundup on Motorsport Prospects. Your source for sustainable high performance motorsport news.

Sustainable Motorsport News

Extreme H unveils the Pioneer 25 Hydrogen-Powered Race Car

Ahead of the recent Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the venue reaffirmed its commitment to sustainability. Prior to this year’s event, the circuit established the largest public self-consumption photovoltaic installation in Catalunya. Additionally, a total of 1,239 solar panels were installed on the Main Grandstand, which generates 33% of the energy the circuit consumes.

“The 3C (Conscience, Commitment and Coherence) management philosophy of the Catalan race track works to strengthen environmental awareness during the event, which will feature various ecological actions, together with social activities and responsible mobility measures.”

Meanwhile, ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix, Silverstone has released their 2023 sustainability report and Global Sustainable Sport has all the details.

“It is not only the environmental initiatives that have progressed, we have also had some real success stories within our local community, collecting 22T of food surplus donated to the SNVB Community Larders and supporting students with work experience placements, particularly in our catering division, which welcomed 42 students, giving them a great start to their individual careers.”

Sustainable Motorsport Roundup

The Mercedes Formula One team have invested in carbon removal initiatives as part of their journey to achieve Net Zero. The first project is a carbon removal purchase, facilitated by Frontier, an initiative founded by companies including Stripe, Alphabet, Shopify, Meta, and McKinsey. A three-year commitment to a soil carbon removal project in the UK has also been made, generating credits which will help compensate for a portion of Mercedes’ residual carbon emissions.

Alice Ashpitel, head of sustainability at Mercedes, said: “Innovation is at the heart of everything we do, both on and off the track. These new projects reflect our commitment to pioneering solutions that not only mitigate our environmental impact but also drive broader change.”

“We’ve explored many solutions, from immediate projects to future tech, that can help us implement innovative carbon removal methods and reach our long-term climate goals. Independent experts have guided us through the process in selecting the projects that we’re announcing today. We remain committed to driving emissions reduction, and we hope our investment in innovative removals initiatives will boost their impact and help the market grow.”

Formula E team Envision Racing has partnered with the World Economic Forum to combat e-waste.

Franz Jung, Vice President of Envision Energy and Chairman of the Board of Envision Racing said of the new partnership: “We’re delighted to have been given the opportunity to partner with the World Economic Forum to showcase how sport can influence and inspire action against climate change at their prestigious 15th Annual Meeting of the New Champions. As a leading company providing comprehensive Net Zero solutions, Envision shares WEFs vision of a strong economy powered by sustainable innovation, and this is reflected in Envision Racing’s commitment to using its platform to inspire conversations at the highest level on how to make this a reality.”

Rumors are building that Hyundai is looking at a WEC hypercar program with the eventual plan to race with hydrogen according to Autosport.

“Hyundai is understood to have real interest in racing in the WEC and at Le Mans using hydrogen and has had fuel-cell car, the Nexo SUV, in production since 2018. It appears that a conventionally-fueled LMDh could be precursor to a switch to hydrogen when the next WEC/IMSA rules cycle begins in 2030.”

Sustainable Motorsport Roundup

Sportscar365+ explains how SRO Motorsport’s GTX class could be its biggest and most valuable property. “Devised as a multi-discipline competition and road show incorporating closed-circuit racing, rally stages, hill climbs and drag racing featuring race-prepped grand touring EVs, Ratel, the father of the ultra-popular GT3 platform along with the FIA, believes GTX could be the next big hit for customer sports car racing.”

New speakers have been announced at the 2024 edition of the Professional MotorSport World Expo. “PMW Expo 2024 will see the debut of a new forum for the discussion of advanced powertrain technologies. With a focus on technology transfer to mainstream automotive and beyond, attendees will receive unrivalled intelligence on the ways motorsport can drive developments that accelerate the decarbonisation of transport.”

Sustainable Motorsport Tech

Extreme H unveils the Pioneer 25 Hydrogen-Powered Race Car
The hybrid era for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES will make its competition debut on Sunday, July 7 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on NBC and Peacock.

Race Engine Suppliers also looks at the details of the new IndyCar hybrid engine. “The amount of energy that can be stored in the super-capacitor pack will be insufficient to run the MGU for many seconds at a time. It will be used for short bursts, perhaps sometimes as a torque-fill off of slow corners while the V6 turbos are still spooling up.”

Mustang Super Cobra Jet 1800

Race Engine Suppliers also has the technical details on the Hyundai Ioniq 5 that tackled Pikes Peak as well as electric drag racers. “The world’s fastest full-bodied, electric-powered drag car is the Mustang Super Cobra Jet 1800, developed by Ford Performance in the USA. On March 22, at the NHRA Winternationals at Pomona Dragstrip in California, the car, driven by Pat McCue, ran the quarter mile in 7.759 seconds at 180.14 mph, beating the 8.128-second time set by its predecessor, the 1400, four years ago.”

Battery technology company Nyobolt has introduced its high power-density, fast-charging battery technology for real-world use with the launch of a functional Nyobolt EV prototype. Designed and engineered in collaboration with Callum, this prototype aims to validate Nyobolt’s battery performance in a high-performance environment and demonstrate the potential for reducing charging downtime.

Initial tests show the battery can charge from 10-80% in under five minutes using a 350kW DC fast charger. A full charge provides a range of 250 WLTP kilometers, and the initial four minutes of charging can provide 193km of range.

Saleen, the famous California-based aftermarket tuner is teaming up with Solution F to design and build a hydrogen-powered engine. And if everything goes to plan, that engine will be at the heart of future Saleen road vehicles, including a planned supercar. This is in addition to his plans to race a hydrogen-powered car at Le Mans that I reported on last month.

France-based Solution F, which is owned by GCK Group, is hard at work on a new twin-turbo V-6 as part of the partnership, according to a press release. The mill is meant to be more environmentally friendly and will be able to run on both hydrogen, as well as traditional and synthetic fuels. This is the powertrain that will likely feature in Saleen’s eventual road cars. The engine will be built in France with the help of another Solution F partner, Motul.

“We believe the long-term solution for transportation will be multi-faceted where hydrogen and synthetic fuels are the future in environmentally friendly engines, while still offering the ultimate in performance, and traditional fueling convenience,” Saleen chairman Steve Saleen said in a statement.

PMW Magazine has a great roundup of advanced powertrain highlights from the iVT Expo. “iVT Expo took place on June 26-27 in Cologne, Germany, bringing together industrial vehicle component suppliers and manufacturers from around the world. As with the automotive industry, the electrification of powertrains in the heavy-duty and off-highway markets is gathering momentum, with many of the same challenges – a need for ever greater energy and power density, cost effective production methods and increased range or operating time.”

Sustainable Racing Series News

Extreme H Pioneer 25

The big news in sustainable motorsport this week was the reveal of Extreme H‘s hydrogen-powered Pioneer 25. Hailing the start of the championship’s exciting new hydrogen-powered era, Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme H, said: “We are incredibly proud to introduce the world to the first hydrogen racing car and the Extreme H series. This launch is not just about a new vehicle; it’s about pioneering the future of sustainable motorsport. Hydrogen fuel cells offer a remarkable opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint and promote clean energy solutions, and we are proud to lead this charge with Extreme H.

Why go Hydrogen? “There’s never been more need to look into new ways of using alternative energies than now,” Alejandro Agag continues. “There’s never been more need to also keep raising awareness than now, because that’s losing a little bit of momentum, and that’s why I think it’s the perfect timing to launch a new championship like this, which is a championship not only focused on mobility — we’re going to focus on cars and the use of hydrogen for cars; it’s a championship that is going to be focused on hydrogen in general.”

The car measures in at six metres long, 1.9 metres wide, and 2.4 metres high and weighs 2,200 kilograms. By comparison, the ODYSSEY 21’s dimensions are 4.4×2.3×1.8 metres and is lighter by 550 kg. The 50-litre hydrogen fuel cell was made by Symbio and is capable of 75 kW of output. The accompanying battery pack from Fortescue ZERO, which the hydrogen fuel cell relays into, holds 325 kW of power. It can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds, approximately the same as the ODYSSEY 21.

Here is a good overview of the coverage of the car launch as well as technical details of the engine and a video from Extreme H.

Extreme H unveils the Pioneer 25 Hydrogen-Powered Race Car

Sustainable Motorsport Roundup

Robert Wickens made his open-wheel return with a Portland Formula E drive and spoke enthusiastically of both the series and the technology that has enabled him to drive the car. “What’s amazing about Formula E is that for years it’s been making things work that people said ‘can’t be done.’ It’s always doing things that people didn’t think possible and that’s another reason it’s been high on my list of series to try. I knew I’d be welcomed here with open arms because people aren’t afraid to go against the grain here.”

In more Formula E news, the Formula E Notebook has confirmed some Gen4 details. According to the site, the FIA has recently confirmed the Gen4 technical regulations with all-wheel drive, 600 kW power in qualifying, 450 kW power and 700 kW recuperation (half each from the front and rear axles) as part of the roadmap. Check out their site for more details.

Beth Paretta talks to The Race about her vision for women in Formula E.

“There have been women in F1 who I know personally who have been at F1 tests, who have been faster than men who are in F1 now because they’re at the same test days. The woman was faster. The woman didn’t have the funding. We need to do a deep dive and we need to get the data, women need opportunity. Opportunity is not a test day. Opportunity is signing a woman to a full-time deal multi-year. You need the time behind the wheel to become who you are. Dropping in, you’re never going to get there. It can’t be for the show of it, it has to be if you want to invest in people.”

Sustainable Motorsport Roundup

While busy in Portland trying to negotiate his new FG Series into sharing the bill at some EPrixs in the future, founder Dilbagh Gill has announced that Schaeffler will partner with FG Series to help create more affordable racing with the new series. Reducing financial barriers to entry to motorsport is a key ethos for FG Series as the new championship is on a mission to make the sport more accessible and present globally. Schaeffler will supply e-mobility components like inverters and e-motors including software to make professional racing more affordable.

Dilbagh Gill, Founder and CEO of FG Series, said: “Having Schaeffler onboard is exciting because with our combined experience we know we will have a very strong technical package. They have achieved a lot in other motorsport series – most notably becoming Formula E World Championship winning technical providers. We are happy that their experience in electric racing will aid us in our sustainable car development over the coming years.”

The news that the World Rally Championship will be racing in Paraguay in 2025 is exciting but their is also a sustainability angle to it. According to BlackBook Motorsport, “Paraguay’s emphasis on sustainable technology played a major role in securing a place on the WRC schedule. The country generates 100 per cent of its grid electricity from sustainable resources, echoing the cars in WRC which run on 100 per cent fossil-free fuel.”

Mark Boudreau
Author: Mark Boudreau

Mark is the publisher of Motorsport Prospects. As a former lawyer, he applies his legal background and research skills to assist race drivers by showcasing the resources they need to make their motorsport careers happen.