Alpenglow and Extreme H: Is Hydrogen the Future of Motorsports and Sustainable Fuels?
Presented to the public at the end of 2022, during the Paris Motor Show, Alpenglow is a concept car created by Alpine – a sports division of French manufacturer Renault – that brings more than modernity and speed in its futuristic design. The car highlights a new element and promise for the future of motorsports and sustainable mobility: a hydrogen-powered internal combustion engine.
"Alpenglow's mighty and lavish design hints at what Alpine cars will be like tomorrow and at our vision for motorsports moving forward. With hydrogen technology on board, we are strengthening our commitment to a responsible future and to keeping driving pleasure as real as ever", said Laurent Rossi, Alpine CEO.
The hydrogen-powered internal combustion motor emerged as an alternative to electric vehicles, allowing for their coexistence in a scenario of high demand for more sustainable mobility. Alpenglow complements its sustainable purpose with a partly recycled carbon fiber design. The French manufacturer aims to initiate a change in the landscape of sustainable mobility, both on the tracks, during races, and in everyday life on the streets.
Extreme H: Another perspective on hydrogen
Yes, you read it correctly: it is Extreme H! Alejandro Agag is an already-known name in sustainability in motorsports. He co-founded Formula E with Joan Todt. Later, he founded Extreme E, and now he has his eyes on hydrogen as an energy source for races.
Scheduled to launch in 2024, Extreme H will be the first hydrogen off-road racing championship and will run alongside Extreme E.
How will Extreme H work?
The Extreme H car will retain the same powertrain and chassis used in Extreme E. The key differentiating factor is the hydrogen fuel cell that will replace the battery as the principal energy source. Green hydrogen sources will be used to power Extreme H fuel cells, created using a combination of solar and water. This technology is already being used behind the scenes in Extreme E, where it provides energy to the vehicle's batteries.
"Extreme E was designed to be a testbed for innovation and solutions for mobility. It has become increasingly clear to us that creating a hydrogen racing series is a natural evolution of our mission to showcase the possibilities of new technologies in the race to fight climate issues", said Alejandro Agag.
Hydrogen is growing as an essential player in the transition for more sustainable mobility, complementing the path opened by electric vehicles. Meanwhile, motorsports also wait with high expectations for Formula 1's project of a synthetic fuel being developed for 2026. As another alternative, the series also researches fuels made from a carbon-extracting process and biomass.
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