Though electric vehicle development and adoption hog the headlines, hydrogen fuel cell technology also presents a viable alternative fuel source. Most recently, the International Council on Clean Transportation found that both EVs and hydrogen-powered vehicles are needed to meet key Paris Agreement goals and firms continue to develop the technology. In July, 2021, Mob-ion's TGT electric-hydrogen scooter turned all that theory into practice with a 248-mile range.
Now, France’s H2 Motronics and Tecmas Racing Team joined forces to develop the H2 Koncept (H2K) racing motorcycle to showcase the true power of hydrogen. The project began in 2019 when Emmanuel Esnault became the CEO of H2 Motronics’ parent company Texys Group. After eight years at Renault Sports Technologies, two years with McLaren Applied Technologies, and five seasons with McLaren’s Formula 1 racing team, Esnault knows a thing or two about performance.
“Like many, we were focused on all-electric, especially for motorcycles,” explained Texys Group President Philippe Leuwers. “From there, the company met officials from the Vehicle of the Future Pole (PVF). We discussed a lot and arrived at the yields of hydrogen.”
To squeeze every ounce of performance out of the new hydrogen-powered bike, H2 Motronics partnered with Tecmas CEO Michel Augizeau. Together, the team developed the platform with a race chassis, a fuel cell, a compressor, a humidifier, and control units. Due to the lightweight construction, the H2K will weigh much less than the 200-kg (440-pound) MotoE race rigs while achieving Moto3 levels of performance. With one kilogram of hydrogen on board, the team estimates that the H2K will return a range of 44 kilometers (27.3 miles), or 11 laps around Spain’s Riccardo Tormo Circuit.
After the digital modeling phase ended, automotive designer Stéphane Valdant continues to prep the H2K prototype for its Spring 2022 unveiling. If the hydrogen-powered race bike proves successful, Texys Group plans to leverage the powerplant for two and four-wheeled urban vehicles, light recreational vehicles, and even marine applications.