Report: Extreme H and green hydrogen opportunities

Update 22 Mar 2024

Extreme H and green hydrogen opportunities
Credit: Pixabay (AI-generated off-road car)

Extreme H is a new green motorsport championship launched by Extreme E, the existing electric off-road racing series. Extreme H will feature green hydrogen-powered vehicles competing in a variety of remote and challenging environments around the world. Its focus will drive wider awareness and adoption of this technology as the green hydrogen market grows.

The Concept of Extreme H

Extreme H was first announced in February 2022 by Alejandro Agag, the founder of Formula E and Extreme E. The new championship will sit alongside Extreme E, utilizing the same racing platforms and infrastructure. But with one key difference – the vehicles will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells instead of batteries.

The Extreme H cars will retain the same powertrain and chassis as the Extreme E vehicles, but the battery pack will be replaced by a hydrogen fuel cell system. This fuel cell will be powered by renewable energy-derived hydrogen, produced on-site using a combination of solar and water.

This approach aims to minimize the environmental impact of the racing series and showcase the potential of hydrogen as a clean energy solution for mobility.

Sustainability and Innovation

Extreme E was founded with a focus on sustainability, using motorsport to raise awareness about environmental issues. Extreme H’s focus on hydrogen power is a natural evolution, demonstrating the viability of hydrogen vehicles and integrating renewable energy sources into motorsport.

According to Professor Peter Wadhams of The University of Cambridge, a member of the Extreme E Scientific Committee, “It is exciting that the scope of Extreme E is now to be extended to encompass the renewable world of hydrogen power”.

The series aims to demonstrate the viability of hydrogen-powered vehicles, particularly for larger vehicles like buses, ambulances, and construction equipment.

Extreme E has also committed to scaling up the output capacity of its hydrogen fuel cell technology over the next two seasons, to power most of the race events through hydrogen, supported by solar and wind energy.

Some of the Tech Partners


A joint venture between Forvia, Michelin, and Stellantis, is a pioneer in the field of hydrogen mobility. The company has over 30 years of experience and has already covered 6 million kilometres with its hydrogen-powered solutions. Symbio will be responsible for providing the 75kW hydrogen fuel cells that will replace the battery as the principal energy source in the Extreme H race cars.

Williams Advanced Engineering

Batteries remain as the secondary energy source, so WAE, the battery supplier for the Extreme E series, will also be providing a battery pack for the Extreme H cars. (Formerly a wholly owned subsidiary of the Williams F1 Group, WAE is now owned by Fortescue Metals Group – FMG.)

Spark Racing Technology

The constructor of the Extreme E vehicles is also developing the new bespoke off-road car for the Extreme H series. The Extreme H car will draw on lessons learned from the Extreme E Odyssey 21 vehicle, with improvements to the chassis design and driver comfort.

Hydrogen Technical Working Group

A group that includes F1 and the FIA. This group will be responsible for monitoring the progression and development of hydrogen technology, both in terms of the fuel cells and the battery systems that will be used in the first-generation Extreme H racing chassis.

Power Unit and Performance

Extreme H will likely follow a spec series model for the hydrogen power unit, meaning all teams will race with the same unit. There is always a possibility that the series might open up the development of certain aspects of the power unit in the future. Below are ways a team could potentially improve the performance of their car in Extreme H:

  • Energy Management: Hydrogen fuel cell efficiency can be impacted by factors like temperature and usage patterns. Teams can develop strategies to optimize fuel cell use throughout the race, maximizing power when needed while conserving for later stages.
  • Predictive Maintenance: Optimum performance relies on a healthy power unit. Meticulous maintenance and data analysis can help a team predict and address potential issues before they arise, keeping the car running at its peak.
  • Fine-tuning within Regulations: A team that excels at data analysis and car setup can potentially find an edge here.

While these methods will not provide the same level of performance gains possible with a custom power unit, they can give a team a competitive advantage in a spec series like Extreme H. It all comes down to a team’s ability to optimize every aspect.

Green Hydrogen Opportunities in Transport and Energy

Here are some of the key opportunities for green hydrogen in the transportation and energy sectors:

  • Reducing Emissions in Transportation: The transportation sector accounts for 20-30% of global CO2 emissions. Transitioning to green hydrogen-powered vehicles could help significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector.
  • Potential Market Size: Currently, almost all hydrogen production (96%) comes from fossil fuels, resulting in 830 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. The $200+ billion global hydrogen market (2023) is expected to grow to $400+ billion by 2030.
  • Hydrogen Storage and Transport: Hydrogen can be used to store energy from renewable sources like wind and solar, helping to balance intermittent supply with varying demand. Transporting hydrogen over long distances is a key opportunity.
  • Potential for Hydrogen in Heavy-Duty Transportation: Hydrogen suits transport such as long-haul trucks, trains, and ships where batteries fall short. The $200 billion heavy-duty truck market is set to exceed $300 billion by 2030.

These opportunities underscore the pivotal role green hydrogen can play in transforming both the transportation and energy sectors towards a more sustainable future.


The key challenges in the green hydrogen transportation and energy sectors include:

  • High Costs: The production costs of green hydrogen are still higher compared to traditional fossil fuel-based hydrogen. The costs associated with transportation, storage, and distribution of green hydrogen also remain a significant challenge.
  • Limited Infrastructure: Lack of dedicated pipeline infrastructure for hydrogen transportation, requiring the use of compressed gas or liquid hydrogen trucks. Need for specialized infrastructure, such as storage facilities and fueling stations.
  • Technical Problems: Hydrogen’s low density, high flammability, and potential for embrittlement. Efficiency losses during hydrogen liquefaction, compression, and transportation processes. Lack of international regulations for green hydrogen.

Despite these challenges, initiatives like Extreme E are driving innovation and the adoption of sustainable solutions in the automotive industry.

Final Thoughts

Extreme H represents a significant step towards sustainable transportation solutions, showcasing the potential of hydrogen-powered vehicles in motorsport. By inspiring innovation and accelerating the transition to a more sustainable future, the championship holds promise for the motorsport industry and beyond.


Sources and useful inks

  1. Extreme E Plans to Switch to Hydrogen with Extreme H by 2025
  2. Can Extreme H Race Series Make Hydrogen Relevant for Green Transport?
  3. Extreme H Completes Successful Shakedown of Its First Prototype
  4. Extreme E Partners with Siemens Ahead of Extreme H Launch
  5. End of Extreme E Manufacturer Fluctuation: Sponsorship Opportunities
  6. Green Hydrogen: The Impact on Transport and Energy
  7. Hydrogen Transportation
  8. The Future of Hydrogen
  9. Green Hydrogen and Transportation Industry: An Overview of Its Applications
  10. Hydrogen Price Trend and Forecast
  11. Hydrogen Market Global Forecast
  12. Heavy Duty Truck Market Size