GCK Motorsport Puts e-Blast 1 Hybrid Hydrogen Powered Racer Through its Paces at Dakar

By January 27, 2021 5   min read  (865 words)

January 27, 2021 |

fuel cells works, gck motorsport, hydrogen
  • GCK e-Blast 1 paves way for future hydrogen technology
  • GCK Energy powers bivouac areas at 2021 Dakar in NEOM using green energy in collaboration with Saudi solar energy leader, Desert Technologies
  • GCK Energy showcases fully integrated charging solution for electric vehicles, as demonstrated on the GCK e-Blast 1

Green Corp Konnection, an ecosystem of industrial companies at the heart of the transition to green energy, showcases the future of mobility and green energy supply at this year’s Dakar Rally in NEOM, Saudi Arabia.

GCK Motorsport, the motorsport pillar of Green Corp Konnection, announced the development of the GCK e-Blast 1 as a first step in promoting the future of cross-country rally. Fully electric and boasting a top speed of 180kmh and max torque of 1000 Nm, the GCK e-Blast 1 was put through its paces in the diverse and challenging environment around NEOM ahead of the 2021 Dakar Rally’s arrival. The team gathered data, tested all technical elements and optimised software to lay the foundation for the development of GCK’s future vision of a cross-country hybrid combining hydrogen and electric.

The future GCK e-Blast H2 will be an evolution of the e-Blast 1, a hybrid powered both by battery and hydrogen. With the e-Blast 1 currently delivering 250 kilowatts, the work will initially focus on optimising the electric motor to allow it to reach 300kW. Meanwhile, the capacity of the battery pack will be reduced from 150kWh to 60kWh with a new cooling system being integrated to allow for quicker charging of the car. In parallel, a fuel cell specifically developed for this project will be powered by 25kg of 700-bar hydrogen stored in tailor-made tanks and will deliver 120kW of energy. GCK will be collaborating with a major player in the industry to create this innovative technology, with details of the partnership soon to be announced.

While developing the right fuel cell is key in reducing our carbon footprint, working towards a sustainable future requires the support of the production and distribution of green energy to power both cars and everyday energy usage.

GCK Energy, a 2nd pillar to Green Corp Konnection, is dedicated to providing exactly that solution. The company has been appointed to pioneer the Dakar Rally’s green energy transformation by installing a ‘green bivouac’ as part of this year’s Rally infrastructure in NEOM. Known for its sustainable mobile energy solutions, GCK Energy, in partnership with Saudi based solar energy leader Desert Technologies, provides green energy to the media centre and TV wall and showcases a fully integrated charging solution for electric vehicles, as demonstrated on the GCK e-Blast 1.

630 solar panels cover 1’200m2 in total to produce between 1.2 Megawatts (MW) a day, thanks to GCK Energy’s bespoke mobile photovoltaic solution as well as the containerised solar field provided by local partner, Desert Technologies.

Using GCK Energy’s dedicated mobile storage solution manufactured in collaboration with longstanding partner Socomec, between 300kW and 600kW of energy are being collected and stored during daylight hours and distributed to provide much-needed energy to the bivouac at night and allowing for the GCK e-Blast 1 to be recharged.

GCK Energy’s demonstration at this year’s Dakar Rally supports ASO’s vision to run a fully autonomous bivouac structure by 2024 alongside their plans for all race vehicles to be powered by green energy by 2030.

Driven by Green Corp Konnection’s vision to green the world by using technological innovation to service the environment and address the threat of climate change, GCK Motorsport continues to push to drive change in mobility while GCK Energy has big plans for future development also. The future will see GCK Energy not only provide green energy to power stand-alone structures and events of any size or mobile charging solutions to race cars and teams but to also power hydrogen-run vehicles to any cross-country teams racing that technology.

“We’re excited to play a pioneering part in the development of motorsport’s future sustainable transformation. It is no secret that the Dakar Rally is a huge passion of mine, and I’ve never stopped working on returning to it. Now, to be able to join ASO and the 2021 Dakar here in NEOM with GCK Motorsport and GCK Energy presenting a key stepping stone in the future of cross-country events of this scale is momentous for GCK and for me personally. Our vision is to encourage the move towards green technology across the globe and I’m very proud of what the GCK teams have created to present to you.”, Guerlain Chicherit, President of Green Corp Konnection, commented.

About Green Corp Konnection: Established in the region of Savoie and the Puy-de-Dôme Department, GCK is an ecosystem of industrial companies at the forefront of the energy revolution in mobility and green energy supply. The group is heavily involved in motorsport through GCK Motorsport, one of the FIA World Rallycross Championship’s flagship teams since 2018, and GCK Energy, which won tenders launched by the Fédération International de l’Automobile (FIA) a year ago to become the exclusive supplier of electricity and recharging infrastructure for the electric World Rallycross Championship and its junior categories from 2021.

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