Dakar Rally showcasing hydrogen’s potential in “most demanding conditions”


Aramco is sponsoring the world’s first hydrogen-fuelled racing truck as it competes in the 2022 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia.

In early December, Aramco announced a collaboration with Gaussin, part of which has seen it sponsor its hydrogen-fuelled racing truck. Ahmad Al Sa’adi, Aramco Senior VP of Technical Services, explained to Oil and Gas Middle East that the aim is to showcase its potential in the “most demanding conditions”, adding that hydrogen can “enable emissions reduction in the transport sector, particularly in segments that are difficult to decarbonise – such as heavy duty vehicles.”

Held annually, the Dakar Rally is off-road, with the terrain traversed by competitors much tougher than what is used in conventional racing, meaning the vehicles competing tend to be true off-road vehicles and motorcycles. The 2022 event as a total of 12 stages, covering up to 800-900km per day.

Other elements of the Aramco-Gaussin partnership include an overall objective of establishing a modern manufacturing facility for on-road and off-road hydrogen powered vehicles in Saudi Arabia, as well as an agreement that Aramco’s Advanced Innovation Centre is closely involved in Gaussin’s development of hydrogen-powered vehicles and that of a remote controlled or autonomous hydrogen racing truck. The pair are studying the feasibility of a manufacturing facility and hydrogen distribution business to serve the Middle East region as an initial step.