Hydrogen two-seater drives energy efficiency to the limits

June 15, 2015 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Hydrogen fuel, supercap energy storage, wheel-hub drives: These are the ingredients for a new electric two-seater developed by Riversimple Engineering. With this recipe, the designers hope to reach a fuel efficiency of 240 miles per gallon (less than 1.2 l per 100 km).

The car of which a prototype exists will travel at a maximum speed of 60 mph (about 96 kmph). The energy will be generated in a fuel cell in the front of the vehicle; in addition it will recover kinetic energy from braking. This energy is stored in a bank of supercaps beneath the passenger seat to contribute to the thrust when accelerating. This additional energy makes it possible to do with just 8 kW of motor power the company said. As a consequence, the vehicle will also be much lighter. To further reduce the weight, the designers chose to use carbon fibre for the body, an extremely strong but light material that is also used in racing cars.

All these measures contribute to bring the weight of the vehicle down to just 520 kilograms, resulting in an impressive driving range of 300 miles (482 km). The acceleration – 0 to 80 km/h in 8 seconds – makes sure it won’t act as an obstacle in everyday road traffic. The creators of the car, former race driver Hugo Spowers and former Fiat / Alfa Romeo design director Chris Reitz, plan to build some 5000 units per year once the vehicle has achieved certification.

More information: http://www.riversimple.com