Hydrogen cars come in two main varieties, fuel
cell vehicles and internal combustion engines
(ICE). Most hydrogen cars being developed today
are fuel cell vehicles using proton exchange membrane
(PEM) technology as these will be, by all accounts,
the cars of the future.
Honda FCX Hydrogen Concept
A few of the manufacturers, however, are using
hydrogen ICE technology, seeing this as an interim
step between today's gasoline or hybrid cars and
tomorrow's PEM cars. In fact, the hydrogen race
car, the BMW H2R is both the fastest hydrogen
car to date and a hybrid car as well. The BMW
H2R uses an ICE powered by either compressed hydrogen
or gasoline. The other hydrogen hybrid currently
touring the concept market is the Mazda RX-8 with
RENESIS Hydrogen Rotary Engine. The Mazda rotary
engine lends itself well to hydrogen with less
backfiring than traditionally converted ICE vehicles.
The hydrogen fuel cell cars number more than
you would think. Recently, GM has introduced the
Sequel, a sport utility concept vehicle, which
is the third generation hydrogen concept following
the Autonomy and Hy-wire vehicles from a few years
back. The DaimlerChrysler Mercedes F600 Hygenius
is another hydrogen crossover vehicle that was
recently introduced. The Ford Focus FCV is the
3rd generation hydrogen car from Ford with many
advancements since the P2000 fuel cell vehicle.
Here is a list of some of the hydrogen cars currently
being shown off by manufacturers:
- BMW H2R - has set nine international and FIA-ratified
land-speed records for hydrogen cars and can
use both hydrogen and gasoline with the flip
of a switch.
- Mazda RX-8 Renesis - rotary duel-fuel engine
capable of using both hydrogen and gasoline.
- General Motors Sequel - crossover H2 concept
vehicle has a range of over 300 miles and will
accelerate from 0 - 60 in 10 seconds.
- Mercedes F600 Hygenius - H2 hydrogen crossover
vehicle with emphasis on luxury for the whole
- Mercedes F-Cell - Mercedes-Benz A-class vehicles
are being used as company fleet vehicles by
Deutsche Telekom and BEWAG/Vattenfall.
- Ford Focus FCV - uses a Ballard 902 Fuel Cell
and fleet evaluation vehicles have already been
delivered to cities in the U. S., Canada and
- Honda FCX - current concept car that Honda
has announced will go into production in Japan
in just 3 - 4 years.
- Toyota Fine-S - built using some of the same
technology from the Prius hybrid car.
Besides this list some of the other past hydrogen
cars include GM HydroGen3, Hyundai
Santa Fe FCEV, Reva Hydrogen, Toyota FCHV, Nissan
Effis, Volkswagen Touran HiMotion, Toyota MTRC,
Morgan LIFEcar, BOC Ech2o, Ford U Concept and
In addition, as of 2010, there have been a couple
cars for sale appear on the market.
These are not production vehicles from the large
automakers, however. Also in 2010, Riversimple's
hydrogen fuel cell car has made headway in becoming
the first open source hydrogen car with commercialization
expected before 2015.