Off Road

Glickenhaus 008 Hydrogen Fuel Cell aims to run the “first zero emission Baja 1000” in 2024

2 Mins read
Credit: Jim Glickenhaus

Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus hopes to be the first team to complete the daunting Baja 1000 with zero emissions, and plan to do so with the SCG 008 Hydrogen Fuel Cell (HFC) car.

Introduced in 2022, the SCG 008’s standard ICE form is a kit car (meaning it ships with most components but customers must acquire others like the engine themselves) that combines elements of the SCG Boot with the 004 sports car. The 004 has been used by the team in endurance races like the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, while the Boot—based on Steve McQueen’s car of the same name that raced in the 1960s—won Class 2 at the 2019 and 2020 Baja 1000s with Sonora Rally director Darren Skilton as driver.

Team owner Jim Glickenhaus described the 008 as being like a rallycross or rally raid version of the 004. Indeed, the design of the 008 is modelled after the 004 and both are three-seater vehicles with the driver’s seat in the centre. Otherwise, the 008’s bodywork is made from fibreglass rather than carbon fibre. It also uses a carbon steel chassis with independent rear suspension.

The HFC version will use 700-psi hydrogen tanks that can be swapped out within a “few minutes”, with an intended range of roughly 150 miles in the desert.

“We hope to prove that this can be done safely with quick safe refueling,” wrote Glickenhaus. “We are also developing a HFC pick up truck. We are also working on viable refueling stations and viable remote refueling solutions.

“We believe Hydrogen will be a part of the future and that we can get an equivalent amount of Hydrogen to the dollar cost of diesel.”

Interest in developing a hydrogen car has pervaded SCG since the turn of the decade. In late 2021, the team expressed plans to build an HFC model of the Boot, featuring a massive fuel tank at the rear that would store liquid hydrogen at –252.87° C (–423.17° F). Around the same time, Glickenhaus also planned a hydrogen pickup truck dubbed the 010 Zero.

While traditional ICE remains the predominant power source in racing today, various sanctioning bodies including Baja 1000 organiser SCORE International have given alternatives more love in recent times; the 2024 SCORE season is the first to feature the Pro Baja-e Moto category for electric bikes. Hydrogen race cars have seen action in sports car events while Extreme E will transition to Extreme H in 2025. In January, the Dakar Rally débuted the Mission 1000 class for non-petrol vehicles, where the top vehicle was a MAN truck that relied on a mix of hydrogen and hydrotreated vegetable oil.

The 2024 Baja 1000 will take place on 12–17 November.

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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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