The World Endurance Championship has outlined its initial plan to introduce hydrogen-powered cars for the 2024 Le Mans 24 Hours in a “world first”.
Having implemented diesel and then hybrid technology, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest says the hydrogen fuel cell is its next target and has set up a working group to formalise it.
The WEC revealed that seven major manufacturers and part makers are actively developing the technology to set the conditions for the new class.
BMW has previously made its intention to use hydrogen power at Le Mans clear.
The ACO is working alongside the FIA in order to achieve zero emissions with racing cars.
FIA president Jean Todt says a hydrogen class is an important next step for the WEC.
“Over the decades the laboratory that motorsport provides has driven forward the development of technology and safety that has a direct benefit to all of us,” he said.
“The FIA has been at the forefront of this development, and the inclusion of a class for hydrogen technology in the FIA World Endurance Championship from 2024 is the next, important, step on the road to a cleaner and sustainable future.”
ACO president Pierre Fillon added: “We continue to drive automotive research and defend our beliefs. Hydrogen is the future of zero-emission mobility.
“This is not just a statement of intent: we have already set up a panel of experts and are working hand-in-hand with manufacturers.
“We are focused on practical research so that we are ready for 2024 and the introduction of a hydrogen class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.”
No further details on how the class would operate alongside WEC's pre-existing tiers were revealed, and neither were any technical specifications regarding hydrogen power.
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