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ACO endorses hydrogen technology future

22 November 2019

Pierre Fillon, president of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, has signed a letter of intent at the European Commission in Brussels to promote the roll-out of hydrogen technology as part of the shift towards zero-carbon mobility. It was also signed by FCH JU (Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking), a structure that brings together the European Commission, Hydrogen Europe and Hydrogen Europe Research.

Fillon spoke about Mission H24, the project launched jointly with GreenGT in 2018 and now backed by Total, the goal of which is to introduce a special category for electric/hydrogen prototypes at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2024. He also referred to the installation of a hydrogen filling station near the Le Mans circuit, a project run jointly with Le Mans city council and the Pays de la Loire regional council. He said the ACO is keen to rise to the challenge of energy transition and is actively involved in the various aspects of hydrogen technology deployment, including refuelling, performance, development and safety.

“Before I begin, allow me a sip of car emission,” he told his audience. “It’s symbolic, but like many symbols, it has great impact. Imagine a driver – a racing driver – getting out of the car and being able to drink its emissions! That’s one of the many advantages of hydrogen!

“We officially launched MissionH24 with GreenGT in September 2018. We have begun promoting hydrogen on the racetrack and the goal is to introduce a category at Le Mans in 2024. It will be a world first over that distance.

“We need to dispel some myths and instil new ways of thinking. Our contribution, our role as the ACO is to make sure endurance racing is sustainable. A year in, MissionH24 has attracted plenty of interest. Total and Michelin joined us early on, and Le Mans city council and Pays de la Loire regional council are particularly supportive. Related projects are springing up across the city. We are motor race organisers, we are a club for motorists, we are citizens, with the same preoccupations as you.

“Cars are our thing, but our objective is mobility, freedom of movement for all, but with an eye on the future, making sure we leave a planet for new generations to enjoy.”

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