The Extreme E electric SUV (sport utility vehicle) series, which begins in April of this year, aims to highlight the impact of climate change on some of the world's most fragile ecosystems. The series will start in (of all places) Saudi Arabia.
AFC got involved in the project in July of last year when it agreed to provide its proprietary, zero-emission, hydrogen fuel cell technology to power the vehicles.
The fuel cell system has been configured to operate across the desert, arctic and high-altitude locations. It will power all of the Championship's ODYSSEY 21 electric SUVs in its inaugural season of racing, AFC Energy said.
Race organisers and 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 AFC Energy's fuel cell power system.
The hope is that the sight of such well-known “petrol-heads” using a sustainable fuel technology will inspire people, companies, and governments to consider using clean power generation.
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 more than 200 million people to highlight the environmental challenge and showcase the technology used by the series.
"Hydrogen fuel cell charging in the world of motorsport is truly groundbreaking, and Extreme E is the first event of its kind to utilise this technology. The product from AFC Energy offers an end-to-end emission-free solution for running our electric vehicles and I hope it will inspire other organisations to investigate sustainable low emission alternatives when running their events,” said Alejandro Agag, the founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Extreme E in a statement.
Adam Bond, AFC’s CEO added that Extreme E's vision to use motorsport as a platform to introduce new technologies, such as fuel cell technology, “is to be congratulated”.
“Hydrogen continues to gain momentum as a viable worldwide platform that affords a key solution to the decarbonisation of sectors where electrification and grid infrastructure is absent,” Bond said.
"Our collaboration with Extreme E provides an incredible global platform to highlight the deployment of our robust, innovative zero-emission system that will ultimately support the decarbonisation of incumbent off-grid power systems across a number of global industries including maritime, rail and construction,” he added.