Inexperienced Hydrogen Stars In Excessive E Racing Sequence Rebrand

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There he goes once more. Alejandro Agag, founding father of the Method E and Excessive E battery-electric racing collection, is now taking goal at gasoline cell electrical automobiles and inexperienced hydrogen, too. The brand new Excessive H collection can be a showcase for improvements in gasoline cell mobility, and that’s simply the tip of the inexperienced hydrogen iceberg envisioned by Agag.

From Method E To EV Charging Stations With Inexperienced Hydrogen

Formua E launched in September of 2013 as a department of FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Vehicle), of the well-known Method 1 collection. I caught the battery-powered motion on the former Tempelhof Airport in Berlin in Might of 2015, when Method E was closing out its first season (see heaps extra Method E tales right here).

The EV battery charging know-how of 9 years in the past was not what it’s at present. Neither was battery-swapping know-how, for that matter. The “Gen1” automobiles of the unique Method E got here in similar pairs, enabling drivers to leap right into a contemporary EV to maintain the race shifting alongside, somewhat than ready round to recharge or swap out the battery.

Simply three years later, in 2018 FIA ditched the car-switching technique in favor of latest EV batteries with sufficient vary to complete a full race, no swapping allowed.

Three years after that, the Excessive E off-road collection launched with a inexperienced hydrogen twist. As a way to recharge the batteries in off-grid areas alongside the course, Excessive E featured charging stations powered by hydrogen gasoline cells. The stations adopted the Excessive E collection because it moved across the globe, demonstrating sturdiness, reliability, and transportability for an off-grid, inexperienced hydrogen EV battery charging answer.

The inexperienced hydrogen for the gasoline cells was produced from water by electrolysis with the facility supplied by on-site photo voltaic panels, eliminating the necessity for a grid connection, and pushing fossil power out of the hydrogen provide chain as nicely.

Inexperienced Hydrogen In The Highlight

With Excessive H, Agag has pushed inexperienced hydrogen entrance and middle, a lot in order that the brand new collection will not be an addition to Excessive E. As an alternative, it’s described as a rebrand of Excessive E right into a “new, extra environmentally pleasant racing format.”

Leaving that factor about extra environmentally pleasant apart for now, Agag is clearly amongst these desperate to discover new challenges within the zero emission mobility area.

“The evolution from Excessive E to Excessive H is without doubt one of the most thrilling developments in motorsport and sustainable know-how I’ve ever been a part of,” Agag defined in a press assertion.

“This evolution guarantees not solely sooner and extra intense racing, but additionally a major step ahead in exploring hydrogen as a sustainable and highly effective power supply,” Agag enthuses.

Agag explains that Excessive E was geared toward showcasing and motivating planet-saving mobility improvements. With inexperienced hydrogen, the chance for broader functions has emerged. “Now, with Excessive H, we’re taking that mission to a brand new degree by embracing hydrogen, the magic molecule in the way forward for inexperienced energy,” he provides.

“The core values stay unchanged: we’re nonetheless devoted to making a pioneering motorsport collection that emphasises [sic] sustainability, gender equality, and thrilling competitors,” Agag emphasizes.

No matter Occurred To “Gasoline Cell Autos Are Bull—-?”

If all this speak of thrillingness appears somewhat excessive, contemplate that one other excessive profile character within the electrical automobile area has been trash-talking gasoline cell automobiles for years (right here’s one other instance). Because of this, gasoline cells have some catching as much as do within the public relations division.

Hydrogen gasoline cell passenger vehicles have been struggling to get a foothold within the international EV market, however business stakeholders have indicated that gasoline cells are appropriate for bigger automobiles together with buses, vans, and vans in addition to trains and different off-road automobiles.

As for hydrogen itself, the “magic molecule” has many different makes use of in industrialized economies apart from gasoline cell automobiles. The checklist consists of fertilizer, meals processing, prescribed drugs, toiletries, metallurgy and — considerably sarcastically — petroleum refining. That’s along with stationary makes use of, as demonstrated by the Excessive E gasoline cell battery-charging stations.

Pure gasoline and gassified coal are the first sources of the worldwide hydrogen provide, which hardly appears magical. What excites Agag, amongst others, is the prospect of pushing that baggage-laden provide chain apart in favor of extra sustainable sources. At the moment, a lot of the exercise round inexperienced hydrogen includes water electrolysis, although natural sources like wastewater and biogas additionally rising (see heaps extra hydrogen information right here).

 “Hydrogen’s potential is immense. It’s not nearly e-mobility; it’s about creating inexperienced energy options that may be utilized wherever, from distant areas to bustling cities,” Agag explains.

Promoting The Inexperienced Hydrogen Dream

Agag has set a excessive bar for Excessive H. Along with showcasing gasoline cell vehicles and hydrogen filling stations, Agag anticipates that Method H will contribute to market-building efforts.

“By being the primary motorsport championship powered by inexperienced hydrogen, we’re setting a brand new normal and offering a novel platform for power corporations to check and develop hydrogen options, he says.

The market-building angle goes to take some doing. The price of inexperienced hydrogen is coming down, however it’s nonetheless dearer than typical hydrogen. The US Division of Vitality, for instance, remains to be working off a benchmark of $5.00 per kilogram for inexperienced hydrogen, in the direction of a objective of simply $1.00 per kilogram.

Nonetheless, inexperienced hydrogen is already embedded within the decarbonization plans of a number of key governments together with the US, Europe, and India. A few of the well-known manufacturers among the many numerous motorsports are already dipping their toes within the hydrogen gasoline cell pool in a single kind or one other, with Porsche and Toyota among the many examples.

Excessive H can even make the most of a rising inexperienced hydrogen provide chain involving each startups and legacy stakeholders, like Siemens and Geopura, which had been introduced on board final summer season within the runup to the Excessive E rebrand.

From Excessive E To Excessive H, With Ladies

Agag doesn’t plan on leaving the know-how classes realized from Excessive E behind, regardless of the rebrand. Along with increasing the marketplace for inexperienced hydrogen, the plan is for Excessive H to hold ahead the Excessive model’s assist for girls drivers.

“We’ve seen unbelievable progress in closing the efficiency hole between female and male drivers, resulting in among the most enjoyable and aggressive racing,” Agag explains.

“This may proceed to be a trademark of Excessive H, alongside our dedication to innovation and sustainability,” he provides.

The gender outreach displays a rising spark of curiosity in ladies’s skilled sports activities, right here within the US and elsewhere. It stays to be seen if Excessive H can entice extra ladies to the game, both as drivers, engineers, or audiences, however you by no means know, the subsequent Mary Barra might be watching.

Comply with me @tinamcasey on Bluesky, Threads, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Picture (cropped): The Excessive H racing automobile Pioneer 25 runs on a gasoline cell powered by inexperienced hydrogen (courtesy of Excessive E).

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