- Hyperion Motors has been engaged on a hydrogen-powered hypercar for nearly 10 years, saying it is constructing the automotive partially to advertise a hydrogen vitality infrastructure.
- The Hyperion XP-1, coming in 2022, has a claimed 2.2-second zero-to-60-mph time and a 221-mph prime pace. It additionally gives 1000-plus miles of vary earlier than refueling.
- Hyperion says it plans to construct its personal community of refill stations for hydrogen vehicles much like the Tesla Supercharger community for EVs.
The way in which Angelo Kafantaris sees it, the Hyperion XP-1 is not an enormous deal. Which may appear to be an odd view, coming from the CEO of an organization that is debuting a 221-mph unique automotive after almost a decade of growth. However the XP-1, with its claimed 2.2-second zero-to-60-mph time and carbon titanium monocoque chassis, is akin to a sign flare blasted skyward to attract consideration to a much less attractive however vastly extra necessary subject: vitality infrastructure. Particularly hydrogen, which is what the XP-1 makes use of for vitality storage in lieu of a battery. “There are sufficient automotive corporations,” Kafantaris says. “We’re an vitality firm that’s constructing this automotive to inform a narrative.”
And the story with hydrogen, proper now, is that it is a regional oddball, an offbeat choice for Californians who need to out-tech their Tesla-driving neighbors with a Toyota Mirai. The advantages of hydrogen have at all times been clear—fast refueling and an basically infinite provide, assuming you may have a supply of electrical energy to crack off your H atoms. The drawbacks are infrastructure and expense. Most of us do not stay wherever close to a hydrogen filling station, and the Mirai’s sub-$400-per-month lease charges nearly definitely do not mirror the price of its gasoline cell or its carbon-fiber storage tank.
Hyperion plans to handle the infrastructure downside first, constructing its personal fueling stations in one thing akin to Tesla’s Supercharger community. Besides Hyperion will not want as many stations, as a result of Hyperion says the XP-1 gives greater than 1000 miles of vary (1016 miles, at a mixture of 55 p.c metropolis and 45 p.c freeway driving). Squeezing extra vary out of batteries is an incremental course of; to double the vary of a fuel-cell automotive, you simply use an even bigger tank. That is simply one of many benefits that Kafantaris hopes will assist persuade most people that hydrogen is the very best battery on the market.
“Hydrogen provides you all the advantages of electrical energy with decrease weight,” he says. “You can race it, as a result of hydrogen doesn’t care about warmth. And you may make hydrogen from extra grid solar energy. Creating hydrogen is greener than making batteries.” Hyperion quotes the XP-1’s curb weight at lower than 2275 kilos, a quantity consistent with essentially the most feathery of internal-combustion sports activities vehicles.
However what about security? Kafantaris says that is a solved downside. “You’ll be able to throw our tanks off a constructing or shoot them with a high-powered rifle. They will not rupture.” However they’re costly, utilizing loads of carbon fiber. Proper now, with a automotive just like the XP-1, that does not matter. But when hydrogen is to turn out to be our default technique of vitality storage, the expense curve might want to comply with that of EVs, after which some. There is a plan for that. And possibly, we discern, for infrastructure past the gas-station refueling mannequin. Like, what for those who might plug in your hydrogen automotive and have it refill its personal tank, cracking hydrogen off the molecule of your alternative? Then you definitely would not want refueling stations. All you’d want is a plug.
Hypothesis apart, the XP-1 is slated to enter manufacturing in 2022, with a restricted run of 300 vehicles. It’s going to have all-wheel drive, with a three-speed transmission and ultracapacitors to buffer the output of the gasoline cell. The physique consists of lively aero parts that double as photo voltaic panels. The double-barrel exhaust stacks are useful—however all that comes out is deionized water vapor. It is the form of wild machine you’d anticipate from somebody who was Innovation Group Supervisor at Mattel, in command of dreaming up Sizzling Wheels vehicles—which was considered one of Kafantaris’s former roles.
“Folks simply anticipate the long run to be higher,” Kafantaris says. “Nevertheless it received’t be except you do one thing about it now.”
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