Extreme E’s Spectacular Opening in the Saudi Desert
What a weekend of motorsport racing we’ve just witnessed in the desert of AlUla, Saudi Arabia!
In what has been years in the making, Extreme E made history this weekend as it crowned its first race winner in a high temperature desert environment fitting of any extreme location on the planet. Having been privileged to be at the event, it’s safe to say the weekend had everything, from its spectacular backdrop, incredible racing and heart-stopping rolls and crashes – in the end, massive congratulations to Rosberg X Racing for taking the chequered flag in the Championship’s inaugural Desert X-Prix.
For me personally, what gave massive satisfaction was that when Rosberg X Racing duo Johan Kristoffersson and Molly Taylor crossed that finish line on Sunday afternoon, the knowledge that their car had been charged with AFC Energy’s zero-emission hydrogen power generator! Were it not for the dedication of AFC Energy’s team on site who worked tirelessly under extreme conditions to put everything in place, and for the engineers and scientists back in the UK having worked on the project and technology over many months and years, this achievement would simply not have been possible.
This weekend, we saw just how versatile our Hydrogen power generators can be, and with the learning gained from operating in such a harsh environment and the challenges we overcame to make this possible, we eagerly look forward to powering the next race in Senegal at the end of May.
The possibilities for Hydrogen to play an increasingly key role in the decarbonisation of offgrid power should not be underestimated. Last week we were privileged to welcome Mr Majid Zahid, President of Zahid Energy, and Mr Marwan Azraq, Managing Director of Altaaqa, to site to witness first hand the AFC Energy system and to sign our first MoU in Saudi Arabia with one of the world’s largest providers of temporary power solutions. The momentum is growing in the way temporary power providers and more importantly, their clients, are seeking to drive industry towards a more sustainable future. Our new partnership with Altaaqa, a wholly owned member of the Zahid Group based in Jeddah, presents an enormous opportunity for both companies to support this transition to a cleaner temporary power market and with Saudi expected to be a world leader in the production of Green Hydrogen and Green Ammonia, what better place for AFC Energy to start this journey!
With the pit lane now dismantled, the fuel cell and ancillary equipment packed for transport to the St Helena and the track returning to its original desert form, I’d like to once again thank all the staff at AFC Energy, Extreme E and our supply chain partners who supported the delivery of our Hydrogen power generator for this weekend’s extraordinary race in Saudi Arabia (with a special mention to Power Logistics whose practical support on site was invaluable). You should all be extremely proud in supporting our collective mission towards a more sustainable future.