30/03/2019 - 10:16

Bertrand Piccard: "The 24 Hours of Le Mans will do a world of good for humanity."

Bertrand Piccard, a special guest on Thursday 28 March for Assises de l'Automobile organized by "Ouest France" in collaboration with the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, underscored the importance of endurance racing and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the development of future clean mobility.
Bertrand Piccard: "The 24 Hours of Le Mans will do a world of good for humanity."

After a day of intense discussions on mobility and the future of cars, the last word after the first Assises de l'Automobile organized by Ouest France in partnership with the Automobile Club de l'Ouest was had by special attendee Bertrand Piccard. 

"Let me begin by saying I enjoy driving and appreciate cars. By organizing this Assises with such enthusiasm, the ACO and Ouest France have shown themselves to be pioneers. The future of the automobile is in great part linked to the success of energy transition. We must move toward clean energy cars. The psychological aspects of the current situation are ripe for analysis. Some wish to protect the environment by curtailing mobility through constraints, restrictions and advocating reduction. Others want to continue growth without taking into account the situation or admitting the harm being done. Yet there is a third perspective that I believe can be defined by qualitative, not quantitative, growth. We need to replace that which pollutes with something clean. We need to get away from a mindset of industry versus ecology. Industry must self-evaluate, take a step toward quality over quantity. Let us be reasonable, consider the technologies that exist, like electricity, rather than boasting about autonomous cars and forgetting the electric car. Let us put into place what is possible today. I've been driving an electric model for three years and would never go back to a conventional thermal engine. The future is already here. European constructors need to up their game because the Koreans and Chinese are making headway in these areas. By refusing to move forward with electricity, certain constructors are running the risk of going the way of Kodak, for example, obsolete for lack of technological innovation. It's time to wake up!

Today, I had the enormous pleasure of hitting the track at Le Mans, the right way, in a hydrogen prototype. I even got to drink the water emissions from the car! That is so much better than poisonous exhaust gases. 

The 24 Hours of Le Mans is looking to enter hydrogen racing cars in competition. [The race] will do a world of good for humanity as it is a wonderful enticement to imitation for the public."