If you've been waiting awhile to see the GreenGT motorsport race car make it to race tracks, you can wave the flag next year. What started out as a black and white electric racer in 2009 – then got green accents in 2010 and 2011 – has now become the GreenGT H2, a hydrogen fuel cell-powered race car featuring electric power train technology. Dunlop Motorsport will be part of the team, and is developing tires to drive the technology forward.

The GreenGT H2 will compete in France during the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2013. Dunlop prides itself on having an excellent reputation among performance car enthusiasts and will design specific tires designed to enhance the performance and handling of electric cars, helping them drive further on less energy while maximizing grip and performance. "To help handle the extra weight of the vehicle, the load capacity of the tire will need to increase and the drive for energy efficiency means the tire design will require a lower rolling resistance," said Jean-Felix Bazelin, general manager of Dunlop Motorsport, in a statement.

Low rolling resistance may qualify the tires for an A rating under a European Union green label for tires, since they improve a car's fuel efficiency. The EU Tyre Label will go into effect in November 2012. Using it, consumers will be informed about fuel efficiency, safety properties and noise levels of new tires via the label. Efficient though they might be, the noise level during 24 Hours of Le Mans could drop the grade to a C-.
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Dunlop teams up with GreenGT to develop tires for hydrogen-powered race car

August 24, 2012

Dunlop Motorsport has announced it will develop tires for a revolutionary new car, the GreenGT H2, which holds the potential to reshape the future of motorsport power. The performance tire manufacturer will be working closely with the team to drive tire technology forward and help provide the grip that will maximize the 'future power' of motorsport.

The launch of the GreenGT H2, which will compete in the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours, is the world's first hydrogen fuel cell powered race car, featuring electric powertrain technology.

The hydrogen fuel cell holds potential in powering future motorsport efforts, and in order to maximize the grip and energy efficiency of the car, the tire must be designed specifically to the setup of the car as Jean-Felix Bazelin, general manager of Dunlop Motorsport explains:

"Electric cars currently present challenges to tire design. To help handle the extra weight of the vehicle, the load capacity of the tire will need to increase and the drive for energy efficiency means the tire design will require a lower rolling resistance.

"The high torque characteristics means the tires will require a new construction that provides increased longitudinal stiffness. Other challenges for Dunlop are to design a tire that optimizes the advantages of torque vectoring technology, which provides the active differential with the ability to vary the amount of power sent to the wheels. While the suspension can be used to control the vehicle response, torque vectoring focuses on the stability of the car.

"This means the balance of the car can be better controlled on different tracks, surfaces and corners. Therefore the tire compound will be tuned to suit this particular car. To help control tire temperature and wear there will be a possibility to use a softer compound than a conventional car. Also, just as Dunlop has achieved on its latest road tire, the BluResponse AA concept, a reduction in rolling resistance will maximize the efficiency of the car."

Dunlop's involvement with the GreenGT H2 signals the start of a program to design specific tires for enhancing the performance and handling of electric cars, helping them drive further with less energy consumed while maximizing the grip and performance.

"We are thrilled to be involved with the development tire for the first hydrogen fuel cell Le Mans car. Dunlop's rich technical expertise and ongoing success in motorsport over the past 125 years means our knowledge will prove invaluable in the challenge of producing the tire design of the future," said James Bailey, Dunlop Motorsport's marketing and communications director. "The objective is similar to the one achieved by our Dunlop BluResponse AA road tyre which achieved a Grade A for grip and a Grade A for energy efficiency."

About Dunlop
Dunlop is a global tire brand with an excellent reputation among performance car enthusiasts. Well known for its prestigious sports car racing heritage, many of the world's leading vehicle manufacturers-including Alfa Romeo, AMG, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Jaguar, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche-come standard with Dunlop tires. For more information on Dunlop, visit www.dunloptires.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 18 Comments
      Giza Plateau
      • 1 Day Ago
      Always someone falling on the sword of hydrogen fuel cells.
        Chris M
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        A closed track racer is a completely different situation than a street legal vehicle. On a track, H2 refueling can be set up specifically for a race, alleviating the concerns about the lack of refueling facilities that apply to street vehicles. Track vehicles can be optimized for desired range and performance, no need to worry about space for luggage or passenger comforts. Cost is less of a concern for track racers, and efficiency hardly matters except where it limits range and performance. Upshot is, what works well on a race-track might not work well on the street.
          DaveMart
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Chris M
          Yep, you can't take racing cars and assume that you can stick the same technology straight on the road. However there is substantial crossover, and this also directly addresses one concern on fuel cell cars, power as opposed to energy density. Racing ICE cars has never directly gone into race cars, but sure has helped develop them.
        DaveMart
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        Weird, most of the clattering bodies I have heard recently have been from people falling down due to their own unsustainable prejudices. If you fancy batteries for all purposes instead of hydrogen, all you have to do is build a competitive racer to do better than the hydrogen one. To someone who only has a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Real engineering relies on suiting the tool to the job.
        Smoking_dude
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        same narrow mindet ppl as so say, EVs will never make it. So if batteries got so much better, why should be there no progress with H2 fuel cells. I can see lots of use for them. batteries might not be the ONLY solution.
      goodoldgorr
      • 1 Day Ago
      This will beat any battery racecars and also gasoline/diesel racecars.
      Dave
      • 1 Day Ago
      "Energy Mode On-board electrical control unit Type High temperature membrane 18 stack fuel cells Power 400 kW Capacity 264 kWh or 5 times greater than a Li-ION battery Intake Two electrical turbochargers Vector Hydrogen stored at 350 bar in two composite tanks" http://www.greengt.com/attachments/press-reviews/greengt-h2-technical-data-sheet.pdf
        DaveMart
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Dave
        Thanks for the info. From the data sheet this was also interesting: 'Objectives for 2013 Weigh less than 1000 kg Do better than one hour of autonomy Go under 4’ at Le Mans The obvious way to get near that would be to up the tanks to 700 bar.
          DaveMart
          • 1 Day Ago
          @DaveMart
          @Dave: It looks as though you are right. I had assumed that large weight savings were to be made as although more CF would be needed, it would still be more weight economic. From this though: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/hydrogenandfuelcells/pdfs/compressedtank_storage.pdf it looks as though this assumption is false, and that although you save a lot on volume, you don't on weight. At a gravitometric density of 5.2% hydrogen, then their current CF tank might weigh around 160kg for a 40 minute run time, and the 12.5kg they need for an hour be around 240kg Presumably they are introducing a much more efficient stack, as thinking about if a 400kw stack is going to weigh quite a bit, perhaps 200kg if they are using a 2kg/kw cell.
          Dave
          • 1 Day Ago
          @DaveMart
          Good catch LTAW
          Dave
          • 1 Day Ago
          @DaveMart
          "The obvious way to get near that would be to up the tanks to 700 bar." Certainly that would improve time between refueling (autonomy) but I suspect that the weight and lap time improvements would be small. Apparently, they are trying to reduce total weight from the current 1240 kg.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Day Ago
          @DaveMart
          Dave, due to its configuration, it might be more appropriate to compare the GreenGT H2 to a LMP prototype instead of an F1 car. "LMP1 - intended especially for manufacturers: minimum weight of 900 kg (1984 lb)." "LMP2 - intended especially for privateers: minimum weight of 900 kg (1984 lb) or 920 kg (2028 lb) for 2010 cars in 2011 configuration." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Mans_Prototype http://www.europeanlemansseries.com/en/s02_corporate/s02p02_categories.php#titreCategLMGT1
          Dave
          • 1 Day Ago
          @DaveMart
          Apparently, the hydrogen fuel cell drive train adds quite a bit of weight: "The minimum weight [of an F1 car] permissible is 640 kg (1,411 lb) including the driver, fluids and on-board cameras.[14] However, all F1 cars weigh significantly less than this (some as little as 440 kg (970 lb)[citation needed]) so teams add ballast to the cars to bring them up to the minimum legal weight." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formula_One_car
        Dave
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Dave
        Compared to the cost of Formula 1 engines and gearboxes, the hydrogen drivetrain in this car could be very reasonable: "1. Engine (£107,000 each) A Formula One Engine must last for two races in the 2008 season. At £107,000 each and an average of 10 engines per car. A team will spend £2,140,000 on engines for their two cars. 2. Gearbox (£65,000 each) Gearboxes must now last for four races in a season.A team will get through five gearboxes per car, making this the second most expensive item. Total seasonal cost for a team, £650,000." http://bleacherreport.com/articles/42136-formula-one-money-money-money-part-3-component-costs
          Dave D
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Dave
          Dave, For 2011-2012 they have 8 engines per driver to make it through the season (with 19 races) I believe the price has gone up per engine to closer to £150,000 which further strengthens your argument about the competitiveness of the fuel cell stack. Also, I think that for the 2012 season, the gearboxes now have to last 5 races or else you get a 5 grid spot penalty when you switch.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 1 Day Ago
      Can't wait to see it in action.
        Dave
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        I wanna hear it in action. This could help to address noise issues at race tracks.
          Marco Polo
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Dave
          @ Dave Yes indeed ! I live in Melbourne, Australia, where the Grand Prix is held in the middle of the inner suburbs. Although, I don't mind, many residents find the noise unbearable. This would reduce the complaints against, what is otherwise, a very enjoyable festival.
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