Photo: Mercedes Formula E team
The FIA will soon announce the use of hydrogen engines in motorsport to meet President Jean Todt’s ambitious goals.
During a visit to the Formula E race in Rome, FIA Chairman Jean Todt made it clear that both the electric FE and the classic F1 with combustion engines will play a role in the plans to make motorsport carbon neutral.
When asked whether electricity is the only way to achieve that target, the Frenchman answered negatively. “Not quite, the entire motorsport must become ‘zero-emission’. If that does not work with electrification, it can still be done through fuels. ”
“We are pioneers with hybrid technology in F1 and we have Formula E but the same has to be done in rally and touring cars. No racing class will be able to escape that fate. ”
It is expected that Formula 1 will make more use of biofuels in the future because it is believed that the remaining cars with combustion engines will also be less polluting in this area. But Todt also alludes to hydrogen technology and says the FIA will make an announcement about it soon.
“It’s a very interesting technological development,” said Todt. “Many are working on it and the FIA also wants to contribute. We do a lot of tests in our laboratories and we will soon be making an announcement about hydrogen technology. ”
Projects are already underway because there is already a hydrogen class at the 24h of Le Mans in the form of a collaboration between Red Bull and the French sports car manufacturer ORECA.
For F1, a switch to hydrogen in 2025 will still be too early, but the manufacturers are working on it as a solution in the longer term. For example, Daimler CEO Ole Kallenius said last year that hydrogen engines would be attractive if there were an environmentally friendly way to produce the gas.
“It’s one of those technologies towards a carbon neutral future that we’re working on, and we’ve been at it for 25 years,” he said.
“We go first, in terms of our commitment on the road, in the heavier trucks, and in some bus applications, but it won’t work unless you eventually have green hydrogen to use.”
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