23 June 2023
The Automobile Club de l’Ouest (Le Mans organisers) has been working on introducing hydrogen technologies to racing since 2018, with the aim of decarbonizing motor racing.
A new racing series, the H2 Class, has been created.
Toyota has announced that from 2026 onward, it will race a hydrogen-powered internal combustion prototype.
In a statement, the company said it ‘has been honing its technologies in the harsh environment of motorsports and, with like-minded partners in and outside the automotive industry, accelerating its efforts for producing, transporting, and using hydrogen toward the realization of a carbon-neutral society.’
Toyota has competed with a Corolla in the Japanese Super Taikyu series, a second-tier sportscar series. Super Taikyu hosts its blue riband Fuji 24 Hours.
Toyota is currently developing a liquid rather than a gaseous injection system.
Their Toyota Corolla H2 Concept completed 358 laps in the Super Taikyu blue riband, putting it 47th overall out of 52 starters.
As to Le Mans, the plan is to introduce the H2 category progressively after 2026, and the idea in 2030 is to have 100% of the top category with hydrogen.
Hydrogen has long been promoted as the silver bullet to answer motorsport’s sustainability problem.
Water is the sole by-product of fuel cell vehicles using green hydrogen produced by water electrolysis.