Today, Michelin is the only manufacturer to provide tires for the fuel-cell vehicles developed by Green GT. However, the scope of this technologically-advanced partnership between the high-performance clean-car specialist and the Clermont-Ferrand based mobility expert extends well beyond that.
In purely tire terms, the joint-programme involving Michelin and Green GT began in March, just prior to the 2016 Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland. In reality, though, Michelin has been involved in the development of the Green GT H2 and H2 Speed for much longer than that, through SymbioFCell.
“Michelin’s core activity, which is to promote mobility, goes much further than merely making tires,” says Valérie Bouillon-Delporte, head of Michelin’s fuel-cell innovation activities. “For two years, Michelin has had a 33-percent stake in SymbioFCell. It is also a technical partner of the Green GT programme through the contribution it makes to the development of fuel cells. Michelin is actively involved in the fuel-cell ecosystem and we continue to invest in the future of mobility.”
Since the Michelin brand was founded in 1889, Michelin has always played an avant-garde role in the automotive industry. In 1996, four years after the launch of the first tyre to contribute to enhanced fuel economy, namely the MICHELIN Energy MXN, the visionary François Michelin decided to open a research centre dedicated entirely to mobility. Two years later, the first Michelin Challenge Bibendum was organised. This event enjoys a truly global reach and brings to together the chief stakeholders in the world of sustainable mobility. That inaugural event was followed by several more across the planet, with a special focus on fuel cells on which the Group has been working since the Noughties.
Michelin is the technology partner of the first hydrogen car in the 24 Hours of Le Mans
For the first time in the history of the 24 Hours of Le Mans a car powered by an electric hydrogen system lapped the circuit during the break in the official qualifying session.
On Thursday 16 June at 21:15, the Green GT H2 took to the track for the 13.629 kilometer lap of the 24 Hours of Le Mans circuit driven by Olivier Panis, the development driver and brand ambassador.
Always at the forefront of innovation and driving progress in the field of sustainable mobility, Michelin is today not only the tire supplier of the Green GT, but also a technology partner and shareholder in Symbio FCELL which developed the hydrogen system in close collaboration with Green GT.
"Bearing in mind Michelin’s commitment to mobility, it is logical that Michelin supports Green GT and the H2, which is not only a race car but also a high performance laboratory”, said Valérie Bouillon-Delporte, director of hydrogen innovation at Michelin.
Apart from its technological approach and performance, the Green GT H2 highlights the commitment, effort and vision that Michelin, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) have shown in their support for this project.
The Green GT H2, which has already driven a few laps on an urban circuit at the first Formula E ePrix of Paris on 23 April, is equipped with MICHELIN S8L slick tires and P2L rain tires supplied by Michelin's customer competition department. It will return to the track at the 24 Hours of Le Mans on Saturday 18 June at 12:40, for a second demonstration lap.
Green GT and Michelin are also working together on the development of another supercar intended for circuit use. The H2 Speed is a prototype designed by Pininfarina which is displayed at the Michelin hospitality structure inside the 24 Hours of Le Mans circuit, near Raccordement.