Extreme E to stop at end of 2024 amid hydrogen transition to Extreme H – Motorsport
Extreme E to stop at end of 2024 amid hydrogen transition to Extreme H – Motorsport.
Extreme E championship organisers are not planning to continue the all-electric off-road series beyond this year as preparations continue into the new hydrogen-based Extreme H championship for 2025.
The future of Extreme E had been in doubt amid talks of a transition to hydrogen power, but the championship had stopped short of explicitly stating that it would not continue alongside Extreme H in 2025.
A column by managing director Ali Russell, posted to its website earlier this week, mentioned that hosting a first event in the United States as the 2024 finale “will be a fitting way to round off Extreme E”.
Speaking in the Business Forum at the Autosport International Show on Thursday, Extreme E’s utilities manager Andy Welch confirmed that the championship which began in 2021 is set to conclude at the end of the season as work progresses on the new Spark Racing Technologies-built hydrogen prototype that completed a successful first shakedown last month.
Welch, replied to a question from Motorsport.com on the future of Extreme E:
If you’d asked that question two years ago it would be likely that it would be both,
“The Extreme H prototype is testing now, the championship will be in ’25. Extreme E will come to an end at the end of ’24.
“It’s a different car, different championship, same format. And Extreme E as it is, will stop.”
Former Formula Ford team boss Welch later explained that logistical challenges were not a factor in the decision to bring Extreme E’s four-year tenure to a close.
“We’re not making any preparations for continuing with Extreme E, although we could,” he told Motorsport.com.
“If the call came to do a series in Saudi or a series in Europe, it could happen.
“The commercial impact of running two championships at the same venue, although attractive in the sense that you could run two championships with one support, you don’t get twice the bang for the buck.
“You’re still only running a race weekend. And our spectators, are they interested in whether it’s an E or an H? Some won’t be, some will.
“The clear remit is H in ’25, E stops this year, although there will still be the cars there and all the infrastructure.”
Welch added that the hydrogen prototype is likely to appear at an Extreme E event “towards the end of the calendar”.
“At some point you’ve got to bear in mind that we have to press the button on the car production and that will have to be in early to middle of the year,” he added.
“Then we’ll have 10 or 12 cars being produced and obviously supplied to teams at the end of this year.”
Extreme E has announced a calendar of five events in 2024, beginning in Saudi Arabia on 17-18 February.
Following a yet-to-be confirmed second round, two double-header events in Sardinia will be held on consecutive weekends in September, before concluding at Phoenix in November.