Say Hello To The Extreme H Pioneer 25 Hydrogen Fuel Cell Race Car

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The electric racing series Extreme E is continuing its evolution into Extreme H, the world’s first hydrogen racing series that’s set to launch in April 2025. To help accomplish that goal, Extreme E has unveiled its new Extreme H car, the Pioneer 25. It’s powered by hydrogen fuel cells and produces only water as its byproduct.

About The Pioneer 25 Hydrogen Race Car

The Extreme H car, known as the Pioneer 25 for its debut in the new era of the series, is a newly developed vehicle. It began its inception following the announcement of the world’s inaugural hydrogen motor racing championship in 2022. Designed and manufactured by Spark Racing Technology, it features a hydrogen fuel cell supplied by Symbio, Extreme H’s Official Fuel Cell Provider. The car has undergone rigorous testing equivalent to three racing seasons to prepare for its debut.

Symbio will supply a 75 kW hydrogen fuel cell, which serves as the primary energy source, replacing traditional batteries. This fuel cell powers the battery pack, which is produced and supported trackside by Fortescue ZERO. Hydrogen fuel cells represent a significant technological advancement, already integrated into Extreme E where they provide energy to the vehicle’s batteries.

The Pioneer 25 boasts a peak output of 400 kW (550 hp), enabling the 4,850-pound, 7.9-foot-wide race car to accelerate from 0-62 mph in just 4.5 seconds and tackle gradients of up to 130 percent. Each Pioneer 25 competing in Extreme H utilizes a standardized set of components from Spark Racing Technology. Teams have the flexibility to redesign the front and rear bodywork and lights to resemble everyday car models.

Key Specs For The Pioneer 25:

  • Top speed (mph): 124
  • Max power (kW/bhp): 400/550
  • Weight (lb): 4,850
  • Dimensions (ft): 19.7 x 6.2 x 7.9
  • Wheelbase (ft): 10.5
  • Chassis: Tubular space frame with composite energy absorbing impact structures
  • Suspension (f/r): Double wishbone
  • Shock absorbers: Supplied and supported trackside by Fox and feature driver controlled on-track adjustability via Live Valve technology.
  • Hydrogen fuel cell output (kW/V): 75/450-850
  • Battery output (kW/V/kWh: 325/850V/36
  • Hydrogen capacity (L): 50
  • eMotors: Front and rear, 200 kW power each
  • Acceleration, 0-62 mph (sec): 4.5
  • Central single seat driving position

It’s worth noting that the Pioneer 25 will debut to the public during Extreme E’s Hydro X Prix in Scotland, July 13-14, 2024.

The Pioneer 25 Has An All-New Suspension, Fox shocks, And More

Mark Grain, Technical Director at Extreme E, says, “There has been no compromise with the Pioneer 25. Spark Racing Technology and Symbio have done a tremendous job in developing the Extreme H car, which is fit for our exciting new era as a hydrogen-powered championship.

“We’ve learned a lot from the ODYSSEY 21, which we have carried forwards, but it’s an all-new chassis and a purpose-built racing car for the hydrogen fuel cell. We wanted the racing to be more intense and we wanted the race cars to be faster.

“The Pioneer 25 is a significant upgrade on the ODYSSEY 21. Overall performance of the car has taken a big step forward. The all-new suspension geometry with driver adjustable shock absorbers from FOX on the Extreme H car provides a great platform for the power and torque that’s going to be available to the drivers.

“We’ve demonstrated EVs can cope with very harsh environments and racing in hard conditions in Extreme E, so moving to Extreme H is a natural progression. We want to demonstrate to the world that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles can be exciting, they can be rugged, and they can be very robust. We want to carry through that development with the Pioneer 25.”

First-Ever Testbed Of Hydrogen Technology In Motorsports

Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme H says, “We are incredibly proud to introduce the world to the first hydrogen racing car and the Extreme H series. This launch is not just about a new vehicle; it’s about pioneering the future of sustainable motorsport. Hydrogen fuel cells offer a remarkable opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint and promote clean energy solutions, and we are proud to lead this charge with Extreme H.

“The evolution to Extreme H is a momentous moment for our championship. It’s important for every motorsport series to have a unique selling point and hydrogen is very significant. We are undoubtedly hydrogen pioneers, the first in this space, and we are excited to showcase the potential of an element that, in large parts, remains a hugely untapped resource. The large-scale adoption of hydrogen could have enormous benefits not just across motorsport and the automotive industry but could also unearth a wealth of positive benefits for the future of the planet. Along with our global partners, including PIF – our Principal Partner – we will continue to redefine the growth of electric sports across the E360 series.

“Our evolution to Extreme H makes us the first-ever testbed of hydrogen technology in motorsport – not only in our racing cars, but also transportation, infrastructure, refueling processes and safety regulations. It’s a ground-breaking initiative. Our racing series has always been unique, but its future as Extreme H undoubtedly marks Racing’s New Frontier.”

The Extreme H 2025 Race Season Will Feature 10 Rounds

During the official launch of the Pioneer 25, Extreme H revealed its inaugural race calendar featuring 10 rounds across five locations. The championship kicks off in Saudi Arabia, following the precedent set by Extreme E in its previous seasons. Subsequently, the European segment commences in the U.K., includes a first-time visit to Germany, and returns to Italy. The season culminates with the 2025 finale scheduled in the U.S.A., marking the Pioneer 25’s debut in North America. Specific dates and locations for the 2025 season will be finalized later this year, according to Extreme H.

The Bottom Line

Alejandro Agag also noted, “Firstly, any racing championship has to be exciting. We think we have an amazing car with huge performance. Fans can expect the same excitement with completely new technology.

“We are going on an adventure and going into unchartered waters. The important thing, though, is to get going and that is what we are going to do. We want to be the ones who show the way for the future of mobility and hydrogen.

“This evolution not only promises faster and more intense races, but also signifies a commitment to exploring the potential of hydrogen as a sustainable and powerful source of energy, revolutionizing carbon-free mobility on a global scale.”

For more information on Extreme E and Extreme H head to extreme-e.com.

Photos by Matt Ben Stone/Extreme H

 

 

 

 

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About the author

Ken Brubaker

After learning to drive in a 1967 Rambler American, Ken was addicted to all things with an engine and wheels. He has owned a wide range of vehicles including a pair of 1977 Pontiac Trans Ams and a 1997 Jeep Wrangler.
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