Not a sound, not a jerk. Apart from the indicator light on the dashboard turned green, no other sensitive indication indicates the starting of the buggy engine, this Wednesday morning, in the H2X ecosystems garage, in Faou (29). At the wheel, Sophie Fleureau is always surprised by this silence. In five months, the Daoulasienne and her accomplice Cendrine Merrer will match it with that of the desert, aboard their ecological vehicle, engaged in the Aïcha des gazelles rally.
Nine days of a very special race in the Moroccan desert: “The goal is not to arrive as quickly as possible, but to cover the shortest distance to the finish. Without GPS, but with a map and a bearing compass. Old ! », Prepares the pilot.
One of a kind
The sporty dimension could have been enough to fill up with sensations, but our two adventurers from Finistère add an exciting technological challenge: “To my knowledge, it is the only green hydrogen offroad vehicle in the world. At the Rallye des gazelles, there will be no other ”, points out Jean-Luc Fleureau.
The technical director and his colleagues from the H2X ecosystems design office have been preparing the buggy for a year. The chassis (thermal model at the base) was bought second-hand. The battery comes from a partner.
Twenty bottles for the road
We understand that Bugs Bugghy, as the project leaders have called it, does not run on carrot juice. But also not 100% green hydrogen. It is found at the start of the system. The energy transmission chain starts from a 28-liter metal bottle containing 700 g of green hydrogen. It powers a lithium battery which itself runs the engine. The Gazelles Finistériennes crew will take twenty bottles to complete their journey of 10 to 12 hours of daily navigation, punctuated by rare peaks at 80 km / h. “The speed will be electronically regulated so as not to drain the battery too quickly,” says this specialist in solar panel car raids.
Fuel for buggy and hot shower
At the Rallye des gazelles, this renewable energy, obtained by electrolysis of water, will not only prove invaluable to Sophie and Cendrine: “With the ETT company in Ploudalmézeau (29), we have developed a large generator. green hydrogen which will feed a hot water tank. The whole bivouac (between 600 and 700 people) will benefit from it ”, rejoices Jean-Luc Fleureau.
An application that the technical director of H2X ecosystems imagines available for the benefit of disaster-stricken populations or to support major projects. Just as he perceives the adaptation of Bugs Bugghy’s green hydrogen fuel system to other vehicles. While President Macron has declared the ambition of a France leader in “green hydrogen in 2030”, the Aïcha des gazelles race offers the Faou box the opportunity for tremendous acceleration.