A 'zero-emission' sports car which can reach speeds of 100mph
Imagine a car that produces nothing more than water vapour from its exhaust and would not look out of place with Batman behind the wheel. Green and cool and known as Lifecar, it is powered by hydrogen and based on the design of the Morgan Aero-8 roadster (another sleek machine). The Lifecar can roam an impressive 250 miles for every tank of hydrogen which makes it a practical option as well (just what you're all thinking).
Committed to ‘green'
The Lifecar took 3 years to build and a whacking £1.9 million was spent in the process in a project part funded by the UK government. It was developed by a consortium of UK companies and universities, though owning a consortium of companies seems to be something of a prerequisite when buying one of these motors!
How it works
The car is powered by a bank of lightweight hydrogen fuel-cells so it is hard to imagine how it can pack any real punches, let alone accelerate up a hill. In fact the car is able to draw extra power reserves from a stack of ‘ultra-capacitators’ which lie in the centre of the car.
It is their ability to soak up energy quickly makes them particularly suitable for regenerative braking systems such as the one used in Lifecar.
- The fuel cells produce about 22 kilowatts – roughly one fifth of the amount of power of a typical combustion engine.
- Hybrid cars already use regenerative breaking – normally it restores 10% of the energy – Lifecar is aiming for 50%.
- The car has a range of about 250 miles (400km) and has a top speed of around 90mph (145kph).