Red Bull makes hydrogen fuel cell play with AVL

Red Bull Advanced Technologies is partnering with Austrian mobility specialists AVL to develop lightweight fuel cells for motorsport, aviation and performance cars.

Red Bull Advanced Technologies

The high-performance arm of Milton Keynes-based Red Bull Racing Group claims that the new fuel cells will be up to two-thirds lighter than existing systems. Early research by the partners indicates that gravimetric power density can be achieved with values towards 6kW/kg on stack level and 2kW/kg on fuel cell system level. According to Red Bull, this will result in the world’s highest gravimetric power density PEM (proton exchange membrane) fuel cell system. 



“We are delighted to be working with AVL on this collaboration to increase fuel cell power density and thus improve performance,” said Rob Gray, technical director, Red Bull Advanced Technologies.

“It goes to show how beneficial the application of cutting edge F1 inspired engineering can be with solving real-world problems.” 

While Red Bull Racing and Red Bull Advanced Technologies are UK-based, they are both ultimately owned by Red Bull GmbH, the Austrian conglomerate build upon the energy drink empire.

The partnership with Austrian compatriot AVL - headquartered in Graz - will seek to combine Red Bull’s lightweight design, construction, and aerodynamics knowledge with AVL’s expertise across PEM fuel cell technology.

According to the partners, they hope to achieve a significant milestone in net-zero carbon technology innovation, enabling sectors such as aerospace, future motorsport series, and a range of other ‘maximum payload applications’ to have the power density figures required in hydrogen mobility. 

“This exciting partnership will combine the knowledge and experience of our experts, allowing PEM fuel cell system technology to advance further and faster to meet the requirements of high-performance applications,” said Matthias Wellers, managing director, AVL Powertrain UK Ltd.