This is a great initiative.
Hyundai hasn't given up on hydrogen as an alternative fuel source just yet. The South Korean automaker has recently launched a new brand dedicated solely to furthering the use of the element as fuel. Of course this will benefit vehicles like the Hyundai Nexo, but rather than relying only on itself to see this through, Hyundai is now turning to motorsport to learn more about hydrogen. Thanks to a partnership with Forze Hydrogen Racing, Hyundai aims to push "the boundaries of possibilities in fuel cell racing", and as you can imagine, the lessons learned in motorsport will help make hydrogen-powered road cars better too.
It's a good idea to explore new avenues of application for hydrogen, especially when competitors like Toyota are also looking to innovate in this field. What is Forze? Well, it's "a student team that designs, builds, and competes [with] hydrogen-electric racing automobiles for the promotion of fuel cell mobility."
The team is building a new racer called Forze IX that is expected to become the world's fastest fuel cell electric racing car with a top speed of 186 mph and the ability to launch from rest to 62 mph in under three seconds. Weighing just over 3,300 pounds and producing up to 805 horsepower, it really needs its all-wheel-drive system.
Hyundai will assist by giving these students access to the expertise, support, and experience of its engineers at the Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Center in Russelsheim, Germany. With more than 60 full- or part-time students from the Delft University of Technology involved in the project, there's plenty of talent at work here, and the further the team can push its racer, the better the case for hydrogen power is made.
Hopefully, the race car proves successful and ultimately encourages other manufacturers like Glickenhaus and Karma to continue pursuing hydrogen power. After all, any tech that keeps motorsport alive and makes road cars cleaner is worth investing in.