Hydrogen Cars

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.


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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 family.
  • 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 Germany.
  • 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 H2 Hummer.

In addition, as of 2010, there have been a couple of hydrogen cars for sale appear on the market. These are not production vehicles from the large automakers, however. Also in 2010, Riversimple's Hyrban hydrogen fuel cell car has made headway in becoming the first open source hydrogen car with commercialization expected before 2015.


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