Australian-built hydrogen race car targets world speed record


The RMIT Fomula H car design sketch reveals the racer's wheel-to-wheel intentions

The RMIT Fomula H car design sketch reveals the racer's wheel-to-wheel intentions

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The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), an Australian university, has unveiled Australia's first hydrogen powered race car, dubbed 'Formula H' and developed in conjunction with the Fachhochschule Ingolstadt University of Applied Sciences.

With speeds of around 106mph (170km/h) expected, the car will be racing to put its name in the Guinness Book of Records should it be successful in outpacing its single-seater hydrogen-powered competitors. If 106mph doesn't sound exactly blistering, don't write off the capabilities of hydrogen just yet - last year Ford raced a hydrogen-powered Ford Fusion to a speed of 207mph (333km/h) using a 770hp (574kW) electric engine.

The professor behind the car, Aleksander Subic, was optimistic about the car's effect on current thinking about hydrogen, stating that through the one-seater hydrogen powered car he wished to "show the world the possibilities of this alternative clean technology".

The German-Australian built car will be powered by an internal combustion engine that uses hydrogen for power, and its relatively low speed is governed by the requirements for the record. Additionally, a small motorcycle engine has been used to keep weight down and maximize the car's efficiency.

Subic was keen to extol the virtues of hydrogen in both consumer applications and racing cars, with the ultimate goal of one day seeing "a clean and green Formula 1 competition" powered by hydrogen. Already at least two other hydrogen-fueled race series have been proposed, while EnviroSportscar is working on a wide-open 'green' racing series that allows for a range of technologies.

 
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