Hydrogen technologies to be welcomed at the 24 Hours of le Mans

The Automobile Club de l'Ouest has been working on the introduction of hydrogen technologies to racing since 2018, with the aim of decarbonising motor racing and contributing to the much-needed energy transition.

Read the full press release : https://www.lemans.org/en/news/aco/hydrogen-technologies-to-be-welcomed-at-the-24-hours-of-le-mans-57458

MissionH24 reaches out to bumper crowds at Spa-Francorchamps

Spa-Francorchamps was the venue for Round 3 of the 2023 FIA WEC last week (27-29 April). MissionH24 – the programme initiated by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and GreenGT to bring a Hydrogen class to the 24 Hours of Le Mans – was invited to the meet by race organisers and the circuit’s management. A busy schedule included presentations of the project and the technology in the race village and an on-track demonstration of the LMPH2G electric-hydrogen prototype driven by Pierre Fillon, ACO president and MissionH24 joint chair, with Amaury Bertholomé, CEO of the Circuit de Spa Francorchamps, alongside him. A record crowd of over 72,000 spectators were treated to a preview of tomorrow’s zero-emission racing.

Read the full press release: CP - MissionH24 reaches out to bumper crowds at Spa-Francorchamps

MissionH24, sustainable action at Spa-Francorchamps

MissionH24 continues its mission to pioneer zero-emission racing at the Spa-Francorchamps round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (26-29 April 2023) with one electric-hydrogen prototype on display and the other on track. The programme was officially launched at the Belgian racetrack in 2018 with the aim of showing that hydrogen is as safe and reliable as the internal combustion engine. This year’s meet offers race organiser the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and the circuit operator the opportunity to demonstrate their ongoing commitment to promote sustainable mobility.


Read the full press release here : CP - MissionH24, sustainable action at Spa-Francorchamps

MissionH24 and the Industry, in Lyon

On the occasion of Global Industrie, the largest French showcase of industrial innovation, organized at Eurexpo in Lyon from March 7 to 10, the hydrogen sports program of the Automobile Club de l'Ouest and GreenGT is well present during this event dedicated to professionals as well as the public: one of the hydrogen electric prototypes is thus exhibited during these four days, while Bernard Niclot, Innovation Manager of MissionH24, introduces a round table dedicated to hydrogen and its opportunities for the industry in France, and Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, contributes to the presentation of a prize, the Golden Tech. The theme of this competition in 2023: the hydrogen car.

As the 24 Hours of Le Mans celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, 100 years of passion and innovation, the natural link between the famous endurance race and technological research is more relevant than ever, at a time of energy transition and the challenges it entails.

As a technological demonstrator of a possible sustainable mobility, the electric hydrogen prototype of the MissionH24 program, a collaboration between the Automobile Club de l'Ouest and GreenGT, has its place at Global Industrie, the largest French event dedicated to industrial innovation, from March 7 to 10, in Lyon, Eurexpo, in the area dedicated to Golden Tech, Hall 4. This zero-emission car will showcase the collaboration of various partners with the engineers of the race team to realize the potential of hydrogen. Research, innovation and testing are part of their daily work, just like many players in French industry facing the current challenges.

This 2023 edition of Global Industrie is developing the theme of hydrogen, in particular through the Golden Tech competition, which will deliver its verdict on March 10 at 1 pm (Hall 4, Eurexpo). Pierre Fillon, president of the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, has been invited, via a video, to participate in the celebration of the winners who will have competed with ingenuity on "the hydrogen car". Fourteen trades or rings will be represented.

Bernard Niclot, Head of Innovation at MissionH24, will launch a round table discussion on the opportunities offered by hydrogen to industry. See you on March 9, from 4 pm, Hall 1.

Automobile racing, endurance racing and the 24 Hours of Le Mans are proof, if any were needed, of their roots in mobility and the industrial challenges associated with it.

The H24's racing clock

The 2023 livery of the H24, the electric-hydrogen prototype of the MissionH24 program, a collaboration between the Automobile Club de l'Ouest and GreenGT for a zero-emission competition, is now known, as of March 1, 2023.

In Brussels, on the occasion of a strategic announcement for European energy autonomy, via hydrogen, the team presented, with its partners, the new colors of this pioneering race car.

A stopwatch appears on the roof of the car, with a blue profile and a white one. This stopwatch delivers two important messages. It symbolizes the hundred years of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, celebrated in 2023, and the time that this zero-emission sports program, via hydrogen, wants to save for the planet, by reducing CO2 emissions.

In pictures, please discover this presentation :

The European Commission invites the H24 to Brussels

The European Commission has invited the H24, the electric-hydrogen prototype built under the MissionH24 programme, to appear at the Autoworld museum in Brussels on 1 March 2023.

After breaking new ground in sustainable mobility in 2022 by competing in – and finishing – Michelin Le Mans Cup races in Italy, France and Portugal, the zero-emission racing prototype will take part in an event in the Belgian capital in early March that will lay the foundations for European hydrogen strategy. The sporting programme is coupled with a real technological challenge to fuel the drive towards energy independence in Europe.

MissionH24, the joint initiative conducted by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest and GreenGT to introduce zero-carbon racing through a hydrogen class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, will be represented at Autoworld, Brussels, on 1 March.

The celebrated Belgian museum will welcome the H24 prototype, the TotalEnergies mobile hydrogen station, a tank designed by Plastic Omnium to contain hydrogen gas, and a Symbio fuel cell. Along with Michelin, Richard Mille, Dietsmann and Essilor, these partners provide essential technical and strategic support for the programme.

This showcase will be an excellent opportunity for European institutions and the public to witness the complete ecosystem developed by MissionH24, which is now a fully functional, high-performance reality.

Racing drivers Stéphane Richelmi and Norman Nato will accompany the H24 which will sport its new livery for the 2023 season. This special colour scheme will pay tribute to the past and future of mobility and illustrate the convictions and aims of MissionH24 partners.

Make a date for 1 March 2023 when all will be revealed.

A cinema screening for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in Brussels

The screening of the official 2022 24 Hours of Le Mans film at TheMerode Club in Brussels on 28 February will be a great opportunity to meet the public, but also a chance to reflect on one of the most important aspects of the famous endurance race: the technological, industrial and economic challenge it represents for the automotive sector and for mobility as a whole. In 2023, the 24 Hours of Le Mans celebrates 100 years of history, 100 years of innovation.

Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, and Pierre Fillon, president of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, will be joined by racing drivers Sarah Bovy, Sébastien Buemi, Yannick Dalmas and Stéphane Richelmi to answer the audience’s questions after the screening.

They will no doubt address topics such as the energy transition and low-carbon transport, which are vital for our planet’s future.

MissionH24, the collaborative programme between the Automobile Club de l’Ouest and GreenGT, designed to promote hydrogen-fuelled racing, will be represented by Stéphane Richelmi. He drives the H24 prototype, which completed a series of races in 2022, and will be joined by other members of the H24Racing team. European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel will talk about her experience on the Bugatti circuit in Le Mans last March, when she was introduced to zero-emission hydrogen racing on board the LMPH2G, the first electric hydrogen prototype from MissionH24, alongside Richelmi. That was part of a day showcasing the hydrogen ecosystem developed by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, Le Mans city council, La Sarthe department council and the Pays de la Loire regional council.

Just a few days ago, after a zero-emission drive through Paris between Place de la Concorde and the Eiffel Tower in MissionH24’s LMPH2G, the French Junior Minister for Industry Roland Lescure said:

Hydrogen is one of the keys to the energy transition and MissionH24 is a feat of innovation. As is often the case in the realm of the automobile, everything starts at the racetrack. It’s also a great pleasure to see that the names of the programme’s partners marked on the car’s body are those of French or European companies. This pioneering programme and this remarkable vehicle prompt us to think about how our lives will look in the future, as we move forward with a zero-carbon energy transition. This programme combines three aspects of French excellence: innovation, research and automotive engineering.

The screening at TheMerode Club on 28 February comes ahead of an important announcement on the European hydrogen strategy on 1 March in Brussels.

MissionH24 presents the Hydrogen Competition at ESTACA

Last December, the fuel cell, with Symbio, and the ACO's hydrogen strategy were the topics discussed during a first meeting with students from Estaca (Ecole Supérieure des Techniques Aéronautiques et de Construction Automobile) in Saint Quentin en Yvelines and those from Laval and Bordeaux, connected via videoconference. Hydrogen and the energy transition are obviously of great interest to this generation in training. Following this first appreciated exchange, a new intervention has been scheduled at the beginning of February.
MissionH24, a collaborative program between the Automobile Club de l'Ouest and GreenGT for the promotion of hydrogen in competition and the creation of a category dedicated to hydrogen prototypes at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, was represented this time by Bernard Niclot, ACO Hydrogen consultant and Antoine Larroque, operations engineer and team manager of H24Racing. The program of the day? The hydrogen competition. How do you introduce a new technology in a race? How to establish the sporting rules? What are the technical rules? What are the stages encountered by a pioneering race team, composed of mechanics and exploratory engineers? How was this electric hydrogen prototype welcomed on the track by the public and by the competitors?

Mentalities have evolved.

As Bernard Niclot and Antoine Larroque made their presentations, reminding us that the H24 fuel cell prototype had taken part in four Michelin Le Mans Cup events and had finished each of them by improving its performance on the track, the audience showed its curiosity by asking many questions.

What is the potential and reliability of a fuel cell? Why this type of chassis and aerodynamics? What will be the refueling time ? Where does the H24 stand in terms of performance compared to the thermal competition? What are the risks with hydrogen? What certifications are required to work in this high voltage context? What obstacles have been encountered? What is the development program? What improvements have you planned? What is your best memory? Imola, our first race in 2022, will remain my greatest achievement even if I have won races in my career," admitted Antoine Larroque. He added this anecdote: "On the races, I meet engineers from other teams with whom I went to school. At the beginning, they would tell me "I hope your machine won't break down often and cause us yellow or red flags." At the end of the weekend, they would sometimes come back and tell me, "so what did you do? I would reply that we had finished and learned. What about them? Their car could be on the board because it hadn't finished the race. Mentalities have evolved. We have shown that hydrogen in racing works and has potential. We are still at the beginning and learning because our technology is far from being mature like the combustion engine. It's exciting and virtuous for motorsport. Bernard Niclot emphasized this characteristic of racing and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which celebrates its 100th anniversary in June: "Racing is a research laboratory for everyone's mobility. Hydrogen is part of its legendary contributions from the race to the road."

The Minister of Industry discovers the zero emission hydrogen racing car!

MissionH24 made the news last night during the Le Mans 24 Hours centenary parade in Paris. On board of the electric-hydrogen prototype LMPH2G which closed the parade, the Minister of Industry, Roland Lescure, took his seat.

An exceptional moment last night in Paris for the MissionH24 program. A parade of vehicles symbolizing the past, present and future of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which is celebrating its centenary this year, crossed Paris, escorted by the motorcyclists of the Republican Guard.

To close the parade, which started at 10:40 pm from the Place de la Concorde and stopped at the Hôtel de la Monnaie (La Monnaie de Paris is the creator of the trophy for the Centenary edition of the 24 Hours, which will be held on June 10 and 11), and then at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, the organizers had symbolically chosen one of the electric-hydrogen propulsion prototypes of the MissionH24 program. On board, alongside its driver Stéphane Richelmi, a prestigious passenger: the Minister of Industry, Roland Lescure, welcomed a few minutes before the departure of the convoy by Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l'Ouest.

Passionate about technology (he is a polytechnician), and the bearer of France's technological and industrial strategy and projects, the Minister installed his 1.90 meter height in the car's cramped cockpit for this unprecedented drive of the MissionH24 electric-hydrogen prototype in the Parisian night. A few kilometers to discover this technology of energy transition and its pioneering program, supported by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest and GreenGT, which prepares the arrival of hydrogen-powered vehicles at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the coming years within a category dedicated to them. At 11pm, the LMPH2G stopped under the glittering Eiffel Tower, allowing Roland Lescure to savor the experience he had just had.

The LMPH2G is on display until Sunday, February 5 at the Rétromobile show in Paris (Parc des Expositions de la Porte de Versailles, hall 2.2, stand C.056) along with the most iconic vehicles in the history of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Roland Lescure, Minister Delegate of Industry:

"I have just crossed Paris, from the Concorde to the Eiffel Tower, one of the most beautiful cities in the world by day and by night, aboard one of the most beautiful cars in the world, a fantastic French racing car: a competition prototype designed and developed for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, whose only emission into the atmosphere during the few kilometers of our journey was limited to water, a few centiliters of water, absolutely pure, the result of the operation of the hydrogen fuel cell that powers the electric motors that propel the vehicle.

The parade organized this evening carried a strong symbolism, a parade of old vehicles, sometimes very old, the mythology of yesterday's race, and this link to the history of tomorrow, with this hydrogen prototype that makes the energy transition of mobility a tangible reality.

It's fantastic to think that, while driving, the only thing we're throwing away is water! About one glass per kilometer. Hydrogen is one of the keys to the energy transition and MissionH24 is an innovation challenge. As is often the case in the automotive world, everything starts with the race. And it's also a pleasure to see that the names of the partners accompanying the program are those of French or European companies on the body of this car. This pioneering program and this exceptional vehicle allow us to think about the future of our daily lives, in a logic of totally decarbonized energy transition. Innovation, research, mechanics, this program is a testimony to French excellence.

Congratulations MissionH24 and long live the 24 Hours of Le Mans!"