Extreme E organisers will launch a new hydrogen-powered spin-off category in 2025 – and it's set to become the first official FIA world championship to use the fuel.
The new Extreme H category will use the same off-road SUV-styled buggies as the existing Extreme E series, but with the electric powertrain swapped for a hydrogen version. While not confirmed, it is understood that the powertrain will be a hydrogen fuel cell system.
Extreme E founder Alejandro Agag has previously outlined plans for the new category to run alongside Extreme E and use the same format, with events taking place on off-road courses in extreme locations impacted by climate change. Each team fields a female and male driver, who switch mid-race.
Extreme E has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with the FIA, motorsport’s governing body, to launch Extreme H as an official FIA championship in 2025 – when Extreme E will also become an officially FIA-recognised series for the first time.
Then, if certain criteria are met, Extreme H will become an official FIA world championship from 2026 onwards. It will be one of just seven series to claim that title, including the electric Formula E world championship.
“This announcement is a significant first step in the development of our championship and our ground-breaking transition to hydrogen-powered racing,” said Agag. “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.”
FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem added: “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.”
The new Extreme H category will be able to benefit from similar architecture to that at Extreme E events: electricity to power the cars is usually generated on site by solar panels, with that energy converted into hydrogen before powering electricity generators.