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Hydrogen-powered Extreme H off-road series set for 2025 debut

Extreme H will launch in 2025 and is set to become the first hydrogen-powered off-road racing world championship after reaching an agreement with the FIA.

Extreme H Car

The team behind the all-electric off-road racing series, Extreme E, first revealed plans to create a pioneering hydrogen-powered off-shoot in 2022, with a prototype vehicle completing a shakedown last month.

Now Extreme E organisers have laid the foundations for Extreme H to launch in 2025 with the series receiving FIA Championship status for its inaugural year.

The intention from both parties is for Extreme H to join the FIA's portfolio of seven world championships, including Formula 1, the World Rally Championship, the World Endurance Championship and Formula E from 2026.

"Establishing alongside the FIA a world-first hydrogen racing world championship will be a momentous milestone for Extreme E and the new Extreme H series," said Alejandro Agag, founder and CEO of Extreme E.

"Eventual accreditation as an FIA Championship and then an FIA World Championship means we would be amongst the top tier of global motorsport categories, and Extreme H would be the first-ever world championship racing series of its kind."

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, added: "We are excited to continue working with Extreme E on their journey to becoming an FIA World Championship. Using sustainable power sources in motorsport is the key objective of the FIA and part of our long-term strategy, and this series is an ideal showcase for that. 

"Hydrogen is an important part of that mix, and we have developed a set of safety regulations for hydrogen-powered vehicles which is part of the FIA's International Sporting Code."

Alejandro Agag, founder and CEO of Extreme E, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, FIA president

Alejandro Agag, founder and CEO of Extreme E, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, FIA president

Photo by: Florent Gooden - DPPI

Following the Extreme E model, Extreme H will be based around a newly designed spec car developed by Spark Racing Technology. This will be powered by a control hydrogen fuel cell that will produce the same power-to-weight ratio as the current Extreme E Odyssey 21 machine.

The car is set to undergo a rigorous testing programme later this year ahead of its official launch. It is hoped the car will participate in simulation races alongside Extreme E next year. 

"What started as a conversation many years ago about racing in extreme environments, showcasing the incredible performance and innovation of E-SUVs, has now demonstrated enormous growth and further pioneering technical advances as we move forward with the transition to hydrogen and Extreme H – a world-first," Agag added.

"This announcement is a significant first step in the development of our championship and our ground-breaking transition to hydrogen-powered racing. Sport is the most powerful and effective platform to drive innovation and our commitment to delivering sustainable motorsport championships full of excitement and with a reduced carbon footprint are testament to that."

It is anticipated that Extreme H will mirror the event format and calendar - yet to be finalised - as utilised in Extreme E, and will continue the concept of teams fielding male and female driver line-ups. According to Agag, current Extreme E teams are interested in making the transition to Extreme H for its inaugural season.  

"All of the teams have expressed their desire to switch to hydrogen when we do it and join the hydrogen series," Agag told Motorsport.com. 

"Of course, we still have some time to go and to discuss different elements and contracts and so on.

"We are receiving new requests from teams and after this announcement, I think we will have many interested parties. In principle, the same teams in Extreme E will be in Extreme H." 

While plans to launch Extreme H in 2025 are underway, Extreme E, which launched in 2021, will continue to run in 2024, although its future beyond that, and how it will integrate with Extreme H is yet to be determined. 

"In 2024 Extreme E will continue and it will be an FIA championship," said Agag. 

"Then we will make a decision as to what is the best way forward. Extreme H will have its own standalone championship and of course, the path to become a world championship has been established with certain KPIs with the FIA. 

"The main aim is for Extreme H to become a world championship. Extreme E, we will decide its future according to circumstances, probably in the middle of next year."

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