Paris, 23 September 2021 – Ahead of the Dakar Rally, Expleo and Faster engineers will collaborate on the design of a sports 4×4 powered exclusively by hydrogen. The vehicle will be developed in accordance with all the targets of the ambitious energy transition plan, “DakarFuture”, launched by the rally-raid earlier in the year. The project brings together mechanical and electronics engineering experts to design the vehicle while relying on field teams to validate technical choices.
The idea of a hydrogen-powered vehicle for the Dakar rally-raid was born several years ago at automotive engineering company Faster, under the creative leadership of famous driver and former race director Hubert Auriol. To turn the project into reality, a partner with expertise in hydrogen mobility was required. Engineering consultancy Expleo was chosen to partner on the project, thanks to several years of experience in the design and development of hydrogen solutions for all types of vehicles.
Since January 2021, a dedicated Expleo team has been working on designing the vehicle, in close cooperation with its Faster counterpart, which provides motor racing expertise.
Racing driver and former Dakar winner Jean-Pierre Fontenay is providing advice and insights based on his extensive experience of the world-renowned event and will be the driver when it takes to the grid. He will also be responsible for vehicle tune-up and management of the operating team.
Converting a racing 4×4 into a hydrogen vehicle
The combined team of experts is taking up the challenge to turn a standard combustion-powered rally-raid 4×4 originally designed by Faster into a 4×4 capable of running entirely on hydrogen.
Replacing the internal combustion engine with an electric one as well as integrating the hydrogen tank and other necessary elements requires a complete redesign of the vehicle to ensure the compatibility of the original components with the fuel cell.
Faster and Expleo will be able to demonstrate a prototype as soon as 2022, before finalising the technical and technological details for the final race-ready vehicle.
“Expleo is proud to support the world’s most prestigious rally-raid in this ambitious energy transition project, as we have been working for several years on the integration of hydrogen systems into vehicles. The Dakar is as much a sporting race as a technological one, driving innovation and progress further. By participating in the complete transformation of a hydrogen vehicle, Expleo’s expertise is contributing directly to the future of mobility.” – Vincent Jolivet, Expleo’s R&D and Innovation Project Manager
“For over 35 years, we have been a partner to the greatest sporting challenges in the world and the greatest innovations in the automotive industry. Our technological expertise in vehicles and our knowledge of Motorsport issues naturally guided us towards this ambitious project, looking to build the Dakar of the future, expected to increasingly focus on innovation and eco-friendliness.” – Florent Biard, President of Faster
“Rally raid is a passion that combines adventure, endurance and pushing oneself to the limit. To be able to combine this with hydrogen technology, which is the future, is a dream for me. It is the best proving ground for the technology and the best possible vision of the sport for the next generation.” – Jean-Pierre Fontenay, rally driver and winner of the 1998 Paris-Dakar Rally
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Expleo is a trusted partner for end-to-end, integrated engineering, quality services and management consulting for digital transformation. We help businesses harness unrelenting technological change to successfully deliver innovations that will help them gain a competitive advantage and improve the everyday lives of people around the globe.
Expleo is active in the technology-intensive sectors that make business and society more connected, sustainable and secure. We offer unique access to industry-specific expertise and best practice across the following services: consultancy and business agility, product design, production and in-service support, as well as continuous quality.
Our 13,500 people bring the right balance of boldness and reliability that businesses need to succeed in this disruptive era. We are active in 30 countries, generating €903 million in revenue in 2020.
Expleo’s network of affiliate companies includes Aerotec, Athos Aéronautique, Double Consulting, Edison Technical Recruitment, Moorhouse Consulting, Silver Atena, Stirling Dynamics, Sud Aviation Services, Trissential and Vista Technologies.
We make a difference in the following areas: Aerospace, Automotive, Banking & Financial services, Defence, Energy & Utilities, Healthcare, Industrial, Insurance, Media, Naval, Public Sector, Retail & Logistics, Telecoms, Transportation.
For more information: expleogroup.com
30 years of experience combined with a strong “Motorsport” culture enable FASTER to provide customers with skills and resources in vehicle engineering and automotive project manufacturing. With its design capabilities close to core businesses – such as boiler making, plastics, composite and vehicle assembly -, FASTER is involved in the fields of mechanics, running gear, structures and bodywork. Since 1983, FASTER has been a preferred sponsor of important racing teams and sporting challenges in various disciplines. For more information: www.faster-racing.fr