Scottish Daily Mail

Fu­elled by the universe!

- BY RAY MASSEY MO­TOR­ING ED­I­TOR Clean Tech · Cars · Consumer Goods · Transportation · Electric Cars · Energy · Ecology · Industries · Hyundai · London · Cambridge · James Ratcliffe

AS BRI­TAIN’S mo­torists are forced by the Gov­ern­ment into a fu­ture of elec­tric cars charged from the mains, some ex­perts are ask­ing: should we be step­ping on the gas in­stead? By that they mean hy­dro­gen — the most abun­dant el­e­ment in the universe. The ques­tion came into sharp fo­cus this week when bil­lion­aire Bri­tish ty­coon Sir Jim Rat­cliffe signed a land­mark deal with Korean car gi­ant Hyundai to pro­duce zero- emis­sion ver­sions of his f or­th­com­ing new I NEOS Gre­nadier 4x4 that will run off hy­dro­gen-pow­ered elec­tric­ity.

Many ex­perts be­lieve hy­dro­gen fuel cells are the real green fu­ture: part of what might be­come ‘a hy­dro­gen econ­omy’ fea­tur­ing cars, trucks, buses, planes and even homes.

Fuel cell cars are ef­fec­tively ‘green’ power sta­tions on wheels. They have zero emis­sions as their only byprod­uct is wa­ter.

Re­mark­ably, they also pu­rify the sur­round­ing air as they drive by fil­ter­ing out harm­ful par­tic­u­lates. Fuel-cell cham­pion Hyundai aims to leapfrog the battery-tech­nol­ogy of elec­tric cars.

Its five-seater Nexo fuel cell is not cheap, from £65,495, but its 414-mile range beats most elec­tric cars. It does rest to 62 mph in 9.54 sec­onds up to a top speed of 111 mph.

A fuel cell car such as the Nexo doesn’t burn hy­dro­gen. Hy­dro­gen from its high pres­sure fuel tank is used in a chem­i­cal re­ac­tion — re­verse elec­trol­y­sis — which takes place in a mi­cro-thin mem­brane. The mem­brane acts as a cat­a­lyst for a re­ac­tion be­tween the hy­dro­gen and oxy­gen from the air, which gen­er­ates elec­tric­ity.

In a trial, a sin­gle Nexo pu­ri­fied 918.75kg of Lon­don air: the same amount one per­son breathes in 60 days. But not ev­ery­one is con­vinced.

A re­cent re­port by Cam­bridge-based IDTechEx says battery tech­nol­ogy is catch­ing up on range and found that fuel- cell cars are 60 per cent more ex­pen­sive to buy and three times as much to run.

 ??  ?? Soft cell: The Hyundai Nexo claims a greater range than elec­tric ri­vals
Soft cell: The Hyundai Nexo claims a greater range than elec­tric ri­vals
 ??  ??
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK