The Gaussin H2 Racing Truck is the first truck to participate in the Dakar that runs with a hydrogen engine
In no time, on January 2, the Dakar begins. Twelve days of hell for many and of glory only for a few. Machines to the limit, heroes and heroines embodied in pilots, kilometers of sand, the weather as an adversary and the podium as a goal.
In Saudi Arabia, drivers such as Carlos Sainz, Nani Roma , Laia Sanz, Isidre Esteve… but also new technologies will be seen. Sainz will race with an electrified car, not an electric one. What does this mean? That it has a 2.0 gasoline engine that does not move the vehicle by itself, but that does provide electricity to the electric motors that the car incorporates.
A green landmark
But more novel than Sainz’s car is that, for the first time in history, a hydrogen- powered truck is going to start. It was presented by Leo Messi last November and takes it to the Dakar Gaussin , a company that works on sustainable mobility solutions. The Gaussin H2 Racing Truck is powered by two 300 kW electric motors with an 82 kWh battery and a 380 kW set of fuel cells.
It will not be the first we see of these characteristics. Sure. The Dakar is increasingly concerned about the environment. It was time. Its leaders have pledged to restrict all categories of cars and trucks to “low-emission vehicles” by 2030 and have already announced that they will accelerate this transition as much as they can in the next decade, as combustion engines lose relevance.
The participation of vehicles concerned about sustainability has already had precedents in this competition. The Acciona team managed to complete the 2017 Dakar with a fully electric buggy that incorporated a solar panel on the roof. It was a milestone, no doubt, but now it’s different because we’re talking hydrogen, and if Acciona hobbled across the finish line last due to long charging times for electrics, Gaussin, with his H2 Racing Truck, won’t have that. problem because it only takes 20 minutes to recharge. And the best thing is that in that time it will achieve a range of 800 kilometers, a sufficient range in a race with some stages of 700 km and in which every detail counts.
Gaussin will most certainly not be on the podium this year because 20 minutes is a long time in this competition, but he will lay the foundations of what hydrogen-fueled motorsports can look like in the future and, above all, that of the world of freight transport.