Mercedes F1 boss praises stunning hydrogen racer
A new lightweight track car is an 'outstanding example of genuine innovation' according to Mercedes AMG F1 boss Ross Brawn despite it ditching traditional engines for a futuristic hydrogen powerplant.
The Forze V was built by students at the Delft University of Technology and has been singled out by the F1 heavyweight because of its use of hydrogen energy.
The car is capable of travelling at 120km/h courtesy of a 18kW engine. However the amount of power can be temporarily boosted to 60kW using regenerative braking power.
Performance figures are so impressive because the car weights just 280kg - about a quarter of the weight of a new Ford Fiesta - and means the car can reach 62mph from standing in less than five seconds.
More remarkably, once the car is filled with 600g of hydrogen it can run for an hour, leaving just five litres of water on the track and emitting no CO2 or other harmful emissions.
The car raced alongside 133 other university-built cars in a race day at Silverstone but was the only on to use a hydrogen fuel cell instead of conventional petrol, diesel or electric battery technology.
After the praise from F1 boss Brawn, who is currently working with his team to get Lewis Hamilton ready for the new season, the team saw the car finish in the middle of the field in the race at the UK's famous race track.
Hydrogen is often cited as the future of green technology because it offers zero emissions, quicker fuelling times than electric vehicles and longer range.
However, the technology is seen as being some way off because of a lack of charging infrastructure and the high costs currently associated with producing and storing the hydrogen and the actual fuel cell technology.
Honda is currently leading the way in hydrogen technology with a prototype in testing. Honda also boasts the first UK hydrogen charging point at the Swindon factory.
Written by Stephen Hurrell