FEV supports GCK to bring Fuel Cell Technology to Dakar Rally
Aachen, Germany, March 2021 — FEV, a global leader in vehicle and powertrain development, has entered an agreement with French firm Green Corp Konnection (GCK) – an ecosystem of industrial companies at the forefront of the energy revolution in mobility and green energy supply – to support fuel cell system development in its GCK Motorsport “e-Blast H2” Dakar Rally race car.
For decades the famed Dakar Rally has been dominated by highly modified entries with internal combustion engines. However, with its organizers pushing for a fully green roster by 2030, the legendary rally is now providing fertile ground for companies seeking to prove the performance of their electrified mobility solutions. In November 2020, GCK Motorsport announced their intent to go completely green with their cross-country efforts and unveiled their “e-Blast 1” off-road race car.
GCK Motorsport will become the first team to present a hydrogen-powered cross-country vehicle at Dakar 2022 before competing in the rally in 2023, thus supporting Dakar Rally organizer ASO in its desire to promote an environmentally sustainable event.
FEV will support the effort with its extensive design, development and integration expertise. The partnership seeks to produce an onboard fuel cell system with an output of 200 kW — one of the most powerful on the market. In addition, by virtue of being housed in a Dakar Rally race car, the system will be subjected to some of the most grueling conditions imaginable, testing the limits of FCEV capabilities. Fuel cell stacks will be provided by EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies, a joint venture between ElringKlinger and Plastic Omnium.
"We are delighted to have a leading partner in FEV to join us on this huge challenge,” said Eric Boudot, CEO of GCK. “This historic step in the life of our company perfectly illustrates our mission to develop technological solutions to meet the growing demand for the integration of green energy in the field of mobility."
"Thanks to more than 20 years of experience in the field of hydrogen related technologies, FEV is uniquely equipped to accept this challenge”, said Nadim Andraos, Executive Vice President for FEV in France, Spain and North Africa. “We are honoured to be part of GCK’s mission to conquer the prestigious Dakar Rally with a fuel cell powered vehicle, and share their vision for a carbon-neutral future. We will support GCK’s participation with all of our passion, expertise and infrastructure.”
FEV is a leading international, independent service provider for hardware and software in vehicle and powertrain development, as well as the energy industry. The range of competencies includes the development and testing of innovative solutions up to series production and all related consulting services. The range of services for vehicle development includes the design of body and chassis, including the fine tuning of overall vehicle attributes such as driving behavior and NVH. FEV also develops innovative lighting systems and solutions for autonomous driving and connectivity. The electrification activities of powertrains cover powerful battery systems, e-machines and inverters. Additionally, FEV develops highly efficient gasoline and diesel engines, transmissions, EDUs as well as fuel cell systems and facilitates their integration into vehicles suitable for homologation. Alternative fuels are a further area of development. The service portfolio also includes tailor-made test benches and measurement technology as well as software solutions that allow efficient transfer of the essential development steps of the above-mentioned developments, from the road to the test bench or simulation. For defossilization of the entire energy value chain, FEV offers energy management and infrastructure solutions from a single source, which intelligently link and holistically optimize power and heat generation, mobility, and industry. The FEV Group currently employs 6500 highly qualified specialists in customer-oriented development centers at more than 40 locations on five continents.
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