The hydrogen powered race car of Mission H24, Source: Th. Gromik, Mission H24

What do race cars have to do with sustainability?

What do race cars have to do with sustainability?

Commissioner Mariya Gabriel travelled to Le Mans in France to discuss hydrogen fuel with the Mission H24 team, who had developed a carbon-neutral race car

Today, European Commissioner for Innovation Mariya Gabriel visited Le Mans in France and the Mission H24 project located there. The goal of Mission H24 is to create a hydrogen-fuelled race car that can compete in Le Mans Cup. Le Mans Cup is an endurance team race, meaning that participants do not compete to reach the finish line, but rather to test the endurance of their engines.

Furthermore, Le Mans Cup is geared more toward amateur racers with its six races, spread out from April to October, with the best teams being able to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The 24 Hours of Le Mans is also an endurance race won by the team that can cover the most distance in 24 hours.

The first race for Le Mans Cup will be on 16 April, with the Mission H24 team running under number 24 and the team name ‘H24 Racing’. It will be the only car competing under the innovation sub-section. The drivers behind the wheel will be Norman Nato and Stéphane Richelmi.

Commissioner Gabriel posted on social media explaining that the Team at Mission H24 deserves a lot of credit for betting on hydrogen. She praised the project for its innovation in the field of hydrogen engines and for using them to prove that they are just as good as their fossil fuel counterparts.

At the same time, Commissioner Gabriel pointed to the collaboration between academia and industry on a wider European scale as a great impetus toward expanding the use of hydrogen in the European Union.

Hydrogen is off to the races

The Mission H24 project was created by Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club De L’Ouest, one of the organisations behind the Le Mans Cup, and Christopher Ricard, the President of GreenGT, a company that develops electric-hydrogen technologies.

Both started the Mission H24 project in 2018. Pierre Fillion was more involved in providing all the necessary research, while Christopher Ricard was involved with the operational side of the project – centred around developing a hydrogen-powered race car.

The car was developed in the town of Spa and was presented at the World Tech Conference in Paris the same year. In 2019 the project got its racing team and took part in the Michelin Le Mans Cup round in Spa-Francorchamps. During the race, the car performed a first in the world – it refuelled with hydrogen on the track via a mobile station.

Currently, the team at Mission H24 is focused on the innovative vehicle’s performance at the Le Mans Cup, going toe to toe with its fossil fuel counterparts.



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