Hydrogen-powered car to be introduced in Dakar Rally 

GEN Z.jpg

December 1, 2020

Mike Horn and Cyril Despres have announced that they will be participating as a team in the 43rd edition of the Dakar rally, taking place in Saudi Arabia this coming January 2021.

The pilots are currently working at the GEN Z Project, a full hydrogen-powered vehicle. The team is aiming to introduce fully hydrogen-powered vehicles in the world of rally raids.

Similarly, recently GCK Motorsport announced a hydrogen-powered racer that it claims will spearhead a plan to “revolutionise off-road racing” when it arrives during the Dakar rally in 2024. It also recently announced an electric racer which will arrive during the Dakar rally in 2021. 

Image: Mike Horn 2020.

Hydrogen to play a central role in the decarbonization of rally racing


According to Mike Horn, rally races need to change drastically and have to become a more sustainable sport for the wellbeing of the planet and future generations. 

“This is a unique opportunity to learn while participating. If you do not become part of the adventure, then you do not know what you are talking about. To be able to participate means you are emotionally and intellectually involved in what is happening,” commented Mike during the last edition of the Dakar. Following this experience, Horn and Despres assembled a team of researchers and engineers to “create the first hydrogen-powered vehicle to participate in the Dakar, an ambition that should come to life in 2023.”

As part of their research, the team will compete in this coming edition of the Dakar behind the wheel of a Peugeot DKR. This vehicle was specifically selected as its dimensions come closest to those of the GEN Z (wheels 37 inches, width 2m30, but 4X4 instead of 4X2).

Additionally, in order to collect valuable information throughout the race, a data acquisition system will be integrated into their vehicle. The system will gather information such as engine capacity, brake pressure, engine temperatures, acceleration and speed. These performance standards will then be based on to create a hydrogen-powered vehicle able to compete against internal combustion vehicles in the most challenging rally by 2023. 

For further information, read the full press release here.