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Extreme E and AFC Energy to pioneer zero emission vehicle charging

15 July 2020

In a world-first Extreme E will utilise hydrogen fuel cell generators to revolutionise how teams power their E-SUVs in a world-first collaboration with AFC Energy, with its pioneering hydrogen fuel cell technology which will enable its race fleet to be charged using zero emission energy. AFC Energy has engineered a bespoke H-Power TM fuel cell system for Extreme E, which has been designed with a clear specification and focus on sustainable innovation.

AFC Energy is commercialising a scalable alkaline fuel cell system, to provide clean electricity for on and off grid applications. The technology, pioneered over the past 12 years in the UK, is now being deployed in electric vehicle chargers, off-grid decentralised power systems and industrial gas plants as part of a portfolio approach to the decarbonisation of local electricity needs.

The Extreme E five-race global series highlights the impact of climate change and human interference in some of the world’s most remote locations and promotes the adoption of electric vehicles to help preserve the environment and protect the planet.

Left and right: AFC Energy's bespoke H-Power TM fuel cell system for Extreme E

It is the first event organiser to utilise hydrogen fuel cell power generators for charging, and the decision supports its goal of being sustainable and creating minimal local impact on the environments in which it races. This innovative solution from AFC Energy offers a completely sustainable fuel production process. The system use water and sun to generate hydrogen power which will then be used to charge all the ODYSSEY 21 E-SUVs off the grid. Not only will this process emit zero greenhouse emissions, its only by-product will be water, which will be utilised elsewhere on-site.

Another unique feature of Extreme E is its floating garage, the RMS St Helena. The former Royal Mail cargo-passenger vessel is undergoing a modernisation and refit in order to lower its emissions. It will be used to transport the championship’s freight and infrastructure, including vehicles, to the nearest port, minimising Extreme E’s footprint as well as being used to facilitate scientific research through an on-board laboratory.

“This collaboration with AFC Energy is a game changer, not just for Extreme E, but also to the wider sports,” said Alejandro Agag, founder and CEO of Extreme E. “The events industry could also benefit greatly from using this innovative, zero emission charging technology.

“AFC Energy is the leading provider of alkaline fuel cell systems for the generation of clean energy. It has developed a wide range of technologies to enable sustainable off-grid power generation, which is easily transportable, offers high efficiency, and emits water, which we can utilise elsewhere in site, as its only by-product.

“In everything we do around this championship we are focussed on being sustainable and supporting the environment, whilst also being innovative. It is fantastic that Extreme E is leading the way in motorsport when it comes to sustainable solutions like this. Motorsport is often associated with a high detrimental footprint on the environment through event infrastructures, but we are trying to change that, and this collaboration with AFC Energy is a huge step in the right direction.”

AFC Energy CEO Adam Bond and Andy Welch, utilities manager at Extreme E

“We are honoured to have been selected by Extreme E in such a world class motor racing championship, designed to highlight not only the true potential of electric vehicle SUVs in some of the harshest environments on Earth, but also the need to raise public awareness of the debilitating impact climate change is having on our ecosystems,” said Adam Bond, chief executive officer at AFC Energy. “The H-PowerTM system will showcase to a global audience exactly how hydrogen can be used as a viable alternative to incumbent diesel generations in the remotest and harshest of environments.”

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