Extreme E and FIA power on with hydrogen racing series
The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and electric off-roading series Extreme E have signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding, setting out a framework to create the first-ever hydrogen off-road racing world championship, Extreme H.
The freshly branded hydrogen-powered off-road SUV championship is planning to commence from 2025.
The MoU is the first step in establishing a pathway for the hydrogen series, Extreme H, to initially become an FIA Championship, before becoming an FIA World Championship from 2026, should the required criteria be met.
Additionally, the pathway outlined that from next year, Extreme E – which is currently recognised as an FIA International Series – would become an FIA Championship.
Extreme H would then become an official FIA World Championship, alongside seven other World Championships including the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. The planned pathway to FIA World Championship status showcases the series’ progression since its inception in 2021, and a commitment to its hydrogen-powered future, organisers said.
Development of the Extreme H series has already begun, with plans to have a prototype launched later this year ahead of the first season.
"Using sustainable power sources in motor sport is the key objective of the FIA and part of our long-term strategy."
“Establishing alongside the FIA a world-first hydrogen racing world championship will be a momentous milestone for Extreme E and the new Extreme H series,” said Alejandro Agag, Founder and Chief Executive of Extreme E.
“Eventual accreditation as an FIA Championship and then an FIA World Championship means we would be amongst the top tier of global motorsport categories, and Extreme H would be the first-ever world championship racing series of its kind.
“What started as a conversation many years ago about racing in extreme environments, showcasing the incredible performance and innovation of E-SUVs, has now demonstrated enormous growth and further pioneering technical advances as we move forward with the transition to hydrogen and Extreme H – a world-first.”
Extreme E has a number of big-name team owners including Sir Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button, as well as motorsport icons McLaren, Andretti and more. Extreme E – and Extreme H from 2025 – has aimed to minimise environmental impact while highlighting issues since its launch, racing in places that have been affected by climate change.
Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the FIA, said: “We are excited to continue working with Extreme E on their journey to becoming an FIA World Championship. Using sustainable power sources in motor sport 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.
“It is encouraging that such a major motor sport entity as Extreme E with its renowned line-up of teams sees the same potential in hydrogen technology. Their approach to equality and diversity matches ours as we push to make motor sport accessible for all.”
He added: “Motorsport competition serves as an excellent research and development platform and this new series has great potential. Having the technology tested in the harsh environment of off-road racing in all types of conditions should benefit the whole industry, and in the longer term make mobility more environmentally friendly for everyday users of the road. We are looking forward to working with Extreme E, sharing our know-how and expertise.”
Image: Colin McMaster/Extreme E