The California car company Hyperion recently announced the development of a hydrogen-based supercar called The Hyperion XP-1, which will be able to drive for up to 1,000 miles on one tank of compressed hydrogen gas. The car’s electric motors will generate more than 1,000 horsepower, and will be able to go from 0 to 60 miles per hour 2.2 seconds.
The XP-1 has a much longer range than a battery-powered electric car because compressed hydrogen has much more power per liter than a battery, Hyperion CEO Angelo Kafantaris says.
“The XP-1 was partially designed to function as an educational tool for the masses. Aerospace engineers have long understood the advantages of hydrogen as the most abundant, lightest element in the universe and now, with this vehicle, consumers will experience its extraordinary value proposition,” Kafantaris said in a statement.
Work on the XP-1 actually started in 2016, and Hyperion has been working on the technologies behind it for a decade, but full production will not officially start until 2022.
Hyperion is not alone either, many other car companies, including Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, and General Motors, are also working on their own hydrogen fuel vehicles, but they are currently only coming out in small numbers.
Hyperion has also been working with NASA on the development of some of its parts.
“Part of what we’re aiming to do is to give a sense of pride for what America has done in the past, through NASA technology, and kind of brings people together around something that everybody can look at and say ‘That’s American, I’m proud of that,” Kafantaris said.
Hydrogen internal combustion engine cars are different from hydrogen fuel cell cars. The hydrogen internal combustion car is a slightly modified version of the traditional gasoline internal combustion engine car. These hydrogen engines burn fuel in the same manner that gasoline engines do; the main difference is the exhaust product. Gasoline combustion results in emissions of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, NOx, particulates, and unburned hydrocarbons, while the main exhaust product of hydrogen combustion is water vapor.
In 1807 Francois Isaac de Rivaz designed the first hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engine. In 1965, Roger Billings converted a Model A to run on hydrogen. In 1970 Paul Dieges patented a modification to internal combustion engines which allowed a gasoline-powered engine to run on hydrogen.