In an EV dominated automobile future the source of power for the EV is the beginning and end of all debates; from plug-ins to lithium-ion and Nickel metal hydride batteries. Hydrogen fuel cell powered EVs are also an alternative. Many automobile companies had in the past rolled out their versions of hydrogen fuel cell driven cars but owing to their cost these cars are available only on lease and as demo models.
But this has not stopped manufacturers from showcasing their concept and prototype fuel cell cars. Here is a list of 10 concept electric vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells.
1. Hyundai 2020
If Hyundai has its way we may see a world dominated by the Hyundai 2020. This is a car that not only runs on hydrogen but generates its own hydrogen. Designed by Nicolas Stone for Hyundai, the Hyundai 2020 is a car designed for a family of four. Drawing inspiration from plants, the car generates hydrogen to power itself using nothing but sunlight and water. Transparent solar cells on the car uses the sunlight to produce electricity which it uses to electrolyze water isolating hydrogen. This hydrogen drives the car. The only byproduct is water and oxygen.
2. Hydro Kultur Nios
A fully working prototype, the Hydro Kultur Nios is a car that won the Autodesk Design Award for outstanding ergonomics and design at the 2010 Shell Eco Marathon. Competing in the ‘urban concept cars’ category, Hydro Kultur Nios was propelled by a DC motor powered by a hydrogen fuel cell system. The car had a wooden frame and weighed just 400 kg. Ergonomically designed with airy, light and spacious interior, this car has two seats. And the best part is the Hydro Kultur Nios is developed by a team of students and professors of the University of Art and Design, Halle; Technical University, Chemnitz; and College of Further Education, Merseburg.
3. Peugeot Clear
Peugeot Clear is the French carmaker’s vision of a hydrogen fueled future. Small yet big enough to sit two, the car is highlighted by its design flair. Adding to the design efficiency of both the exterior and the interior are the ingenious placing of the hydrogen and oxygen tanks which not only improves the ergonomics of the car but also the performance. With its tunnel cooling radiators, heat, both inside and outside the car is efficiently managed. Powered by the hydrogen fueled electric motors the Peugeot Clear has fluidic movement.
4. Squalus concept car
Arturo Arino is at it again. This time the designer has come out with a concept that has not one, not two but four electric engines fitted to each wheel of the car. Named the Squalus concept car, this car is taking mobility to the next level. Besides the four independent motors, this car has a hydrogen engine and is so designed that this engine will kick in once the electric motors give up. Great idea, but the electric motors have also the capability to recharge themselves from the energy of the spinning wheels and so here we are talking about a back up.
5. Honda Hydrogen-Powered FC Sport
It’s not news when a car maker debuts a hydrogen fueled car. But when that car is a high-powered sports car designed to outperform Internal Combustion Engine peers then heads are bound to turn. Honda showcased the concept Honda Hydrogen-Powered FC Sport at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Designed by the Advanced Design Studio of Honda America, the outstanding feature of the FC Sport is its high performance power train, low center of gravity, and light weight. This could be made possible by the modular distribution of its fuel cells. This allows for proper balancing of the weight of the car.
6. Dacia Shift Concept
Not the one to be left behind in the hydrogen race, Dacia, the Romanian car manufacturer, has come out with Liviu Tudoran designed Dacia Shift Concept. Apart from its hunky, sporty and aggressive looks, this concept is powered by hydrogen and this in turn powers the lithium ion batteries. The most eye catching feature of the car is the extended windscreen that adds to the chic factor of the concept.
7. Volkswagen CitiZen
The Volkswagen CitiZen envisions the future of motoring by Volkswagen. Embodying a futuristic design and aerodynamic form, the Volkswagen CitiZen is controlled through a joystick and this joystick will be a multipurpose key for the user. Powered by a hybrid propulsion system consisting of hydrogen fuel cells, electric motors and batteries, this futuristic compact concept from Volkswagen will seat two people and feature small 180 degree rotation enabled wheels for easier and enhanced maneuverability.
8. BMW HR2
It would be an impossibility to talk hydrogen fueled cars and not figure in BMW. Sure enough BMW is hot on a project, the BMW HR2, a prototype hydrogen-powered race car. Although it won’t be in production anytime soon yet the BMW HR2 has specifications that would belittle other race horses of its kind. For a hydrogen powered concept it has a 0 to 60 acceleration of 6 seconds. With a top speed of 185 miles per hour, this concept will be based on the VALVETRONIC valve drive.
9. Aston Martin DBGT 2025
Aston Martin DBGT 2025 is brainy as well as brawny. This concept runs on hydrogen which is generated by the electrolysis of water. Powered by a 6 liter V12 engine, this car can accelerate from 0 to 60 in 4.3 seconds. Because it runs on hydrogen it will be a zero-emission vehicle, and as such absolutely ecofriendly. Rest assured, with amazing curves, stylish design and sleek looks, when it comes to the looks department this concept is true to its breed.
Designed by an industrial design graduate Mathieu Lewis, the RT20 concept is designed to be reconfigurable and adaptable, the RT20 switches easily between a sports car and a conventional ride. It will be powered by a liquid hydrogen fueled twin turbocharged V6 with the hydrogen stored in liquid form inside a super-insulated fuel tank. The body panels would be made of aluminum sandwich foam capable of enhanced shock absorption. This car will feature an electromagnetic suspension system.The smartest feature is the i key which not only starts the vehicle but contains the driver, vehicle, and medical data for emergency use.