Will hydrogen cars compete in future Formula 1 races?

Will hydrogen cars compete in future Formula 1 races?

December 13, 2023 0 By Bret Williams

F1 is currently working with Extreme H and the FIA to better understand the potential of H2 in racing.

Hydrogen cars are only one of the ways that Formula 1 is investigating the potential of H2 for its events, as it is working with Extreme H and the FIA to consider event power and transportation as well.

Formula 1 recently announced that it intends to achieve carbon neutrality in slightly more than six years.

Among the strategies Formula 1 is investigating in order to decarbonize includes hydrogen cars, event power and transportation. It wants to be able to use H2 in both racing and part of the overall function of the events. The first H2-powered championship is slated for 2025.

The series was already considering H2 as a potential fuel for F1 events in the 2030s. That said, as it works to achieve its zero carbon emission goals as soon as possible without losing relevance with its fans, sponsors and manufacturers, it is working on getting started with H2 sooner rather than later.

As of 2026, grand prix cars will be operating on synthetic fuel. The synthetic fuel chosen will be deemed as carbon neutral because it will be produced using renewable energy while also drawing carbon out of the air to combine it with hydrogen, thereby offsetting any emissions generated through its use.

F1 is looking into using hydrogen cars as the passenger vehicle market increasingly turns to battery electrics.

Most automakers – including those that had been developing H2-powered passenger vehicles – have stepped back from this option as their emission-free offerings.

Hydrogen cars - EV passenger car

Instead, they have stepped into the battery electric vehicle market, which has taken off tremendously in recent years. That said, there remain some major markets that are investing in H2 technology.Memory test

Coming in 2026

hydrogen news ebookAmong the major investors into H2 and hydrogen cars include Saudi Arabia. These investors are funding H2 initiatives while also being behind the Extreme E electric series that will be changing to H2 power in 2026. The new Extreme H vehicles will use fuel cells that will use H2 to generate electricity that will power an electric motor.

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