The first-ever hydrogen-powered prototype car made its on track debut during the European Le Mans Series round at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.
The Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) teamed up with GreenGT and collected bottles of water which is said to be the only emission produced by the GreenGT LM PH2G hydrogen-powered car.
Four-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Yannick Dalmas drove the LMP3 prototype car powered by hydrogen for few laps around the famed Spa-Francorchamps circuit, with the run included a fuel pit stop demonstration.
“It’s a privilege to be part of such an event, to take the wheel of a hydrogen-powered car,” said Dalmas. “I can assure you I was not at all worried about driving a car with hydrogen on board. Everything is perfectly under control with numerous safety measures and checks.
“The stealthy silence of the prototype as it leaves the pit lane is remarkable. It feels different to drive and I needed to have several procedures explained. For a machine that is yet to enter the development stage, the whole package is really promising.
“For a brand-new machine without any performance development, it’s really promising. More than all when you know that the only emission out of this car is water vapor.” The media were presented with a bottle of ‘Eau de Voiture’ collected from the car’s exhaust.
ACO’s president, Pierre Fillon said: “Hydrogen is the future because we are aiming for zero-emission mobility. It is our role to develop high-performance, environmentally friendly technologies.”
Spa-Francorchamps’ director Nathalie Maillet added: “We’re honoured that Spa is the venue for this world premier. We were eager to see the demonstration of a hydrogen racing car. It’s great that Spa is the launchpad for Mission H24.”
The team stressed that the car is still in the experimental phase with engineering and reliability tests continue on while the development and optimisation programme along with performance yet to be touched upon.
During the 2018 Le Mans 24 Hours weekend, the annual press conference concluded with a presentation on hydrogen-powered cars by the ACO, which targeted to run the cars in the year 2024 especially in Le Mans.
Spec details released by Mission H24:
- Carbon LMP Chassis with steel frame
- Double wishbone pushrod suspension
- Carbon brakes
- GreenGT electric-hydrogen powertrain (4-stack fuel cell with polymer electrolyte membrane) producing a constant 250kW
- 4 electric motors (2 per rear wheel)
- Maximum output of 480 kW at 13000 revs (653 hp)
- 2.4kWh KERS delivering 250 kW for 20 seconds
- Direct drive to rear wheels (ratio: 1:6.3)
- No gear box, no clutch, no mechanical differential
- Electronic torque management system
- Fuel tank capacity: 8.6kg of hydrogen
- Storage pressure: 700 bars
Kinetic energy recovery system (KERS):
- 750V battery, nominal voltage
- Capacity: 2.4 kWh
- Length: 4 710 mm
- Height: 1 070 mm
- Width: 1 970 mm
- Wheelbase: 2 970 mm
- Front overhang: 1 000 mm
- Rear overhang: 740 mm
- Weight: 1 420 kg in working order (front: 39,8 % – rear: 60,2 %)
- Weight variation at refuel: 8.6kg
Wheels: A VERIFIER
- Front 30/68-18 Michelin Pilot Sport GT (hub 12X18)
- Rear 31/71-18 Michelin Pilot Sport GT (hub 13X18)
- Maximum speed: + 300 kph
- 0–100 kph: 3.4 seconds
- 400 metres, standing start: 11 seconds
- Range: equivalent to other racing cars with comparable performance
- Refuelling time: 3 minutes.
Emissions into the atmosphere:
- Water vapour only
— Mission H24 (@MissionH24) September 22, 2018