Extreme E

In July 2020, we announced a collaboration with Extreme E to supply zero emission, hydrogen fuelled, off-grid power to Extreme E’s groundbreaking inaugural electric SUV racing series commencing in April 2021 Extreme E was established by the same visionary team behind the ABB FIA Formula E Championship and is the world’s first all-electric international rally series.

The Championship will see teams racing in some of the remotest corners of the planet, in a bid to highlight the most important climate issues of our generation and to highlight technologies that can accelerate global decarbonisation efforts.

Size of fuel cell 40kW cell
System make-up Fuel Cell; Control Unit; Battery Storage unit; Vehicle Charger
Specification of Odyssey EV Mid-mounted electric motor, generating 400kW (536bhp)
Race calendar Alula, Saudi Arabia (3-4 April); Dakar, Senegal (29 – 30 May); Kangerlussuaq, Greenland (28-29 August); final two rounds to be confirmed
Link to Extreme E sustainability approach Extreme E – The Electric Odyssey (extreme-e.com)

We designed and built a power system that will highlight to Extreme E’s global audience the vast potential for today’s newest clean power technologies to displace polluting diesel generators, to which a large quantity of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed.

Engineered to withstand some of the world’s harshest environmental conditions, our specially modified fuel cell system will power vehicles across five continents in Extreme E’s first season, including race locations in the Arctic and the Sahara.  This infographic explains what’s in the system and how it works.

Following six months of collaborative engineering with Extreme E’s utilities team between July 2020 and December 2020, the fuel cell system underwent a month of intensive commissioning in January at our Surrey assembly facility, alongside battery management systems and vehicle charging infrastructure testing.  It was then delivered and used at the first round of the series in Saudi Arabia in early April, prior to being distributed to Senegal at the end of May for the second round of the series.

All of Extreme E’s race 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 high profile well-established teams including Andretti United and Chip Ganassi Racing, will charge their ODYSSEY 21 vehicles using electricity generated by our fuel cell power system.  This in turn will inspire people, companies, and governments to consider how clean power generation, such as that found in fuel cell technology, can be utilised to urgently respond to the challenges brought on by climate change.

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.

A small number of AFC Energy staff travel to each round to monitor and maintain the performance of the H-Power system over each race weekend.  Following its deployment at the first two rounds of the series in Saudi Arabia and Senegal, the system is now in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland for the Arctic X-Prix (28-29 August), prior to being shipped to Sardinia for the Series’ fourth round in the Autumn.  The final round of the series has yet to be confirmed.