Is hydrogen the fuel of the future? California’s Hyperion certainly thinks so, claiming that its XP-1 hypercar will be able to cover 1000 miles on a tank of fuel and still power to 62 mph in just 2.2 seconds on its way to a top speed of over 200 mph.
The secret to the car’s incredible performance is a hydrogen fuel cell combined with supercapacitors, with a little help from the sun. The fuel cell generates electricity (producing only water vapor as emissions) which feeds into the supercapacitors for storage. Electric motors provide driving power to all four wheels, while solar panels also provide a trickle of power.
Hyperion hasn’t released many technical details yet, but one thing that has been revealed is the car’s weight: just 2275 pounds. Unlike electric hypercars from the likes of Pininfarina and Lotus, the all-carbon XP-1’s use of supercapacitors for storage instead of heavy lithium-ion batteries makes all the difference. The supercapacitors are also less effected by outside temperature changes and don’t overheat. They don’t hold as much energy, though, which is why they’ll be constantly fed by the fuel cell and solar panels.
Hyperion says the hydrogen fuel tank can be refilled in as little as five minutes and it will introduce its own network of fuel stations across the U.S.
The question is this: Can this halo car do for hydrogen what Tesla did for battery EVs?