Automotive

Gaussin to take world's first hydrogen race truck to the Dakar in 2022

Gaussin to take world's first ...
Gaussin has announced the world's first hydrogen-powered Dakar race truck, preparing to race in January 2022
Gaussin has announced the world's first hydrogen-powered Dakar race truck, preparing to race in January 2022
View 4 Images
Gaussin has announced the world's first hydrogen-powered Dakar race truck, preparing to race in January 2022
1/4
Gaussin has announced the world's first hydrogen-powered Dakar race truck, preparing to race in January 2022
You are now looking at the back of a truck
2/4
You are now looking at the back of a truck
With 600 kW of power and around 250 km of range under race conditions, this will be the world's first hydrogen-powered Dakar race truck
3/4
With 600 kW of power and around 250 km of range under race conditions, this will be the world's first hydrogen-powered Dakar race truck
Italy's Pininfarina has taken on the design task for Gaussin's first five vehicles: the race truck, a road tractor, a construction-targeted heavy vehicle, a distribution truck and an autonomous truck
4/4
Italy's Pininfarina has taken on the design task for Gaussin's first five vehicles: the race truck, a road tractor, a construction-targeted heavy vehicle, a distribution truck and an autonomous truck
View gallery - 4 images

French company Gaussin is pushing hard on hydrogen-based long-haul trucking, playing up hydrogen's excellent range figures and quick refuelling times as a benefit over heavy, slow-charging batteries. It's developing a flexible skateboard chassis you can build all sorts of heavy vehicles on top of – and if the final product is as smooth and slick as the Hollywood-grade render video these guys put together, they're sure to do well.

Now, Gaussin's announced it's going to go racing. And if your key goal is to take a truck out and demonstrate both its performance and reliability, there's really no better torture test than 12 days of hell at the Dakar rally.

Of course, it's a Dakar by name only these days. The 2022 race, like this year's, will be held in Saudi Arabia, around the 500-billion-dollar, ultra-high-tech, future megacity of Neom. No matter, there may be fewer flavors of hell here than in Senegal, but rocks and sand are still a brutal, unrelenting test of man and machine.

With 600 kW of power and around 250 km of range under race conditions, this will be the world's first hydrogen-powered Dakar race truck
With 600 kW of power and around 250 km of range under race conditions, this will be the world's first hydrogen-powered Dakar race truck

Gaussin's truck will not be the first zero-emissions Dakar contender; the Acciona team managed to complete the 2017 Dakar in an all-electric dune buggy running 150 kWh of batteries and a rooftop solar panel. It will, however, be the first time hydrogen will be rolled out, and where Acciona limped across the line in last place due to long charging times, Gaussin will have much less of an excuse.

The H2 Racing Truck, built upon Gaussin's skateboard chassis, will run two 300-kilowatt (402 horsepower) electric motors, a fuel cell capable of generating a continuous 380 kW (510 horsepower), and an 82 kWh buffer battery to handle the full-throttle demands of desert racing.

Will those power levels be enough to draw blood from established campaigners like Kamaz, which has been running a 1,150-horsepower, 13-liter diesel beast? Or indeed Toyota's truck division Hino, which is planning to bring a diesel-electric hybrid making a total of 1,065 horses? Maybe. But it'll have its own "renewable power" category to race in against the battery guys, and it should do well in its class.

Italy's Pininfarina has taken on the design task for Gaussin's first five vehicles: the race truck, a road tractor, a construction-targeted heavy vehicle, a distribution truck and an autonomous truck
Italy's Pininfarina has taken on the design task for Gaussin's first five vehicles: the race truck, a road tractor, a construction-targeted heavy vehicle, a distribution truck and an autonomous truck

Carrying 80 kg (176 lb) of hydrogen, it's expected to have a range around 250 km (155 miles) under race conditions, and will fuel up in about 20 minutes as required. It'll be speed-limited to 140 km/h (87 mph) to meet Dakar regulations, and it'll look spunky, as with all Gaussin's future product line, thanks to a design collaboration with Pininfarina in Italy. Although mind you, Pininfarina's been letting the odd bit of very pedestrian work out the door lately.

The Dakar organization will surely be delighted to have Gaussin on board; it's committed to restricting the entire car and truck categories to "low-emission vehicles" by 2030 and is working to accelerate the transition over the next decade as combustion engines become less relevant.

Source: Gaussin

View gallery - 4 images
5 comments
5 comments
Daishi
The camper van of my dreams.
yawood
That autonomous truck doesn't look very well designed. It has to push that large flat front through the air.
FB36
ANY HYDROGEN VEHICLE IS A HUGE MISTAKE!!!

Our world already always have countless people keep burning to death alive (after traffic accidents), because of using gasoline (which easily starts fires) as fuel!
(Diesel fuel, for example, does NOT easily starts fires (& that is why POTUS car is specifically chosen to be a diesel, for example)!)
Hydrogen, on the other hand, does NOT start fires but EXPLODES like a bomb!!!
If there are hydrogen vehicles around, do you seriously think their tanks would never leak or rapture, because of a traffic accident, for example???

IMHO, any vehicle which battery does not provide enough power/range should/must use bio-diesel as (range extender) fuel!!!
(Bio-diesel can be produced from many kinds of crops/biomass & can be used by any regular diesel vehicles too!!!)
yawood
Oh dear, it sound's like the sky is falling. In Australia we have many gas vehicles (that's Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), not Gasoline); I had one for 12 years. They are not unlike a Hydrogen vehicle with a similar special tank or multiple tanks (my ute had two tanks) and are filled at a normal service station via a screw-on nozzle. The only noticeable difference between a gas powered vehicle and a petrol powered vehicle is that the gas one has small stickers on the number plate to show first responders that it has gas tanks. In all the years these have been in use (maybe thirty or more years) there have been no rise in explosions or fires that I know of. Yes, there is a slightly higher risk with LNG or Hydrogen but it is very small with modern gas tanks and vehicle safety features - we have moved beyond the Hindenburg age.
Aermaco
@FB, you are constantly worried about hydrogen and appear to be a biofuel salesman fearing Hydrogen fuel cells will eliminate your bio[fossil] fuel co2 burners.
One big reason why is that;
H2 will not explode in a tank that has no oxygen as it rises up quickly in a vertical fire like a "candle flame" then joining the oxygen outside,, while your biofuel liquid spills onto the ground until ignition burns everything it flowed out and into.