Hydrogen Fuel Cell System for Extreme E championship demonstrates potential for off-grid charging


Extreme E and AFC Energy have unveiled the Hydrogen fuel cell power system that will be used to sustainably charge the Championship’s ODYSSEY 21 electric SUVs in its inaugural season of racing.

AFC Energy in Harrier hangar, Dunsfold Aerodrome, Cranleigh Surrey – photo by John McLellan

The AFC Energy system will highlight to Extreme E’s global audience the vast potential for  clean power technologies to displace polluting diesel generators. Engineered to withstand some of the world’s harshest environmental conditions, the specially modified fuel cell system will power vehicles across five continents in Extreme E’s first season, including race locations in the Arctic, Amazon Rainforest, Sahara Desert and the heights of Tierra del Fuego in Argentina.

Following six months of collaborative engineering with Extreme E’s utilities team, the fuel cell system has undergone a month of intensive commissioning in January at AFC Energy’s Surrey assembly facility, alongside battery management systems and vehicle charging infrastructure testing. Following inspection by its Engineering team, it is now set for handover to Extreme E’s logistics team for shipping to the Season’s first race in Saudi Arabia, 3-4 April.

Race organisers and teams, including teams run by current Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton (X44), former Champions Nico Rosberg (Rosberg Xtreme Racing) and Jenson Button (JBXE), alongside well-established teams including Andretti United and Chip Ganassi Racing, will charge their ODYSSEY 21 vehicles using electricity generated by AFC Energy’s fuel cell power system.

With broadcast deals in place with Sky and BBC (UK), Discovery (Europe), Fox Sports (US, Canada and the Caribbean) and a host of others, the series will have an estimated global TV audience of over 200 million people to highlight the environmental challenge and to showcase the technology used by the series.

AFC Energy will now move to the integration and delivery of Extreme E’s upstream green hydrogen fuelling solution which will be delivered to the championship over the forthcoming months.

Preseason Testing doe E Extreme vehicles for the ODYSSEY 21 Championship |Photographer: Charly Lopez|

Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E, said, “Hydrogen fuel cell charging in the world of motorsport is truly ground breaking, and Extreme E is the first event of its kind to utilise this technology. 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 organisations to investigate sustainable low emission alternatives when running their events.”

Adam Bond, Chief Executive Officer at AFC Energy, said, “Hydrogen continues to gain momentum as a viable worldwide platform that affords a key solution to the decarbonisation of sectors where electrification and grid infrastructure is absent. 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.

The technology supports decarbonisation of off-grid power systems with applications across industries such as maritime, rail and construction.


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