Just a few hours before the start of the 84th Le Mans 24 Hours, the Green GT H2 became the first 100% electric-hydrogen fuel-powered vehicle to run on the 24-Hours circuit. This unique feat in history is full of promise for the future of the motor car – on circuits and beyond!
On Thursday evening and again on Saturday shortly before the start of the 84th staging of the most famous endurance race in the world, the Le Mans 24-Hours circuit was the theatre of a historic event when, for the first time in the history of the motor car, a vehicle powered by an electric- hydrogen power unit (no battery, no internal combustion engine), the Green GT H2, ran on the track.
The Automobile Club de l’Ouest, creator and organiser of the event, was behind this unprecedented feat as it invited GREEN GT to show off the extraordinary qualities of its experimental racing car.
The Green GT H2 is the first electric-hydrogen racing prototype in the world. It is the technological shop window for the knowhow of the GREEN GT company, an engineering laboratory specialising in electric drive solutions for high-powered use, both in industrial application and transportation.
The Green GT H2 produces on its own the electricity which powers the electric motors with an electric-hydrogen generator also known as a fuel cell. Its operation is 100% clean as the only thing the Green GT H2 releases into the atmosphere is water vapour.
On Thursday evening and then on Saturday midday, the prototype’s usual development driver, Olivier Lombard (winner of the LM P2 category in the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours) handed over to ex-F1 driver Olivier Panis who is also the international ambassador for the GREEN GT programmes.
Christophe Ricard, GREEN GT majority shareholder:
“I would like to congratulate the GREEN GT collaborators and our partners for having taken up the technical challenge represented by the development of the Green GT H2. On Thursday and again on Saturday we wrote the first pages in a new book at Le Mans. High powered electric-hydrogen propulsion, a Green GT speciality, is the most promising of all the alternative energy solutions. Pierre Fillon, the President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, organiser of the Le Mans 24 Hours, has expressed his thoughts on several occasions this week on the priority place which electric-hydrogen occupies in the development strategy of the Le Mans 24 Hours. We’re going to continue and ramp up our development work, in particular with the H2 Speed which Green GT developed when asked to do so by Pininfarina. We’re building the future of the motor car.”
Jean-François Weber: Green GT research & development manager:
“These laps of the Le Mans circuit reward four years’ intensive work. Just over 27 kilometres isn’t a lot compared to the more than 11 000 kilometres covered by the Green GT H2 in private testing in the last three years. But they represent a very strong symbol as several of our engineers and technicians have spent part of their career in motor racing. Running our Green GT H2 in front of the tens of thousands of spectators in the grandstands has a particular flavour for us. Our expertise and our experience in electric-hydrogen propulsion are unique both on the track and off. We know it, but it was vital for us to demonstrate them.”
Olivier Panis, Green GT test driver and international ambassador:
“Top-level sportsmen, and racing drivers in particular, are usually not very emotional people. But I feel very emotional after having covered two laps of the Le Mans 24-Hours circuit at the wheel of the Green GT H2. Since the moment the vehicle existed I’m the first driver to have done these laps in a
100% electric-hydrogen car. Writing the first lines of a new story is a privilege. I was asked not to push too hard as there were some old prototypes like the Ford GT40s and the Inalteras on the track at the same time as me. Even so I managed to catch and pass one. I drove as if I was doing an installation lap when you come out of the pits for the first session of a weekend’s racing. I did so smoothly, accompanied by the whispers of the compressor, taking a quick look in my rear-view mirrors at the cloud of water vapour emitted by the Green GT H2; and I really enjoyed myself being back again on this mythic circuit that I love so much. The marshals gave me the thumbs up sign; I could also hear the public – usually the engine noise drowns this out. It was a landmark moment.”
TecHnical specificaTion H2
100% ELECTRIC – HYDROGEN
• 2 three phase current experimental engines synchronous with permanent magnets
• Power output: 2x200kW at 13500 rpm = 544 bhp
• Torque: 4000 Nm at the wheel
• Double monocoque and crash box in carbon fibre homologated by the FIA
• Double steel wishbone/pushrod suspension front and rear
• Brembo carbon brakes
• BBS wheels: front: 11x18/Rear: 13/18
• Michelin tyres
• Fuel cell with high-temperature membrane 340 linear kW
• 18 stacks
• Propulsion and torque vectoring managed by a centralised electronic module
• Direct drive to the rear wheels
• No clutch, differential or gear changes
• Torque vectoring device
• 2 composite tanks
• Hydrogen stored at 350 bars
• 40-minutes autonomy per stint
• Refuelling time: 3 minutes
REJECTS AND EMISSIONS
• Air and water from the exhaust
• Length-width-height: 4950mm-2000mm-1200mm
• 1240 kg with bodywork
• Maximum speed: 300 km/h