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Is this the World’s Most Efficient Hydrogen Car?

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Picture of Meenal Datar

Meenal Datar

Membership specialist

A car that is a hundred times more efficient than today’s fossil fuel city cars? The students of the Eco-Runner Team Delft in the Netherlands are making it reality. The ambitious group is pushing the boundaries of sustainable transportation by designing and developing a highly efficient hydrogen-powered car. The team’s goal this year is to set the world record for the longest distance driven by a hydrogen-powered city car on a single tank of fuel.

WHY HYDROGEN?

Hydrogen-powered vehicles are a proven concept in the transport sector; the production of hydrogen-powered trucks is already underway, and the first hydrogen-powered passenger cars can already be found on the road. However, the conventional vehicles commonly seen on the roads today tend to be heavy, emit harmful greenhouse gases, and lack an aerodynamically optimised shape.

These are the fundamental distinctions between conventional vehicles and the one designed and developed by the Eco-Runner team over the years, with a continued focus on improvement. The Eco-Runner’s design is engineered to achieve optimal efficiency, by being lighter, more aerodynamic, and powered by hydrogen, which is converted into electrical energy, emitting only water vapour and heat.

TEAM SUCCESS

Eco-Runner Team Delft consists of 24 students from 10 different disciplines
at TU Delft, who work together to design and develop a fully functional vehicle within a year. The team is composed of a fresh group of students each year, with knowledge and expertise passed down from previous members.

Building on the success of last year’s team, which achieved exceptional efficiency, this year’s students have set ambitious goals. They want to improve last year’s car by enabling it to cover a larger distance. The main goal is to officially break the world record for the longest driven distance ever by a hydrogen-powered city car on just one tank of hydrogen.

DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

As a result of the world record attempt, the design of the car has undergone significant changes compared to last year. The biggest problem while driving this very long distance is material fatigue. Last year’s car was not robust enough to cover the more than 2,055 km required for the world record. This year, the team is focused on strengthening the car’s chassis while ensuring that it does not unnecessarily become heavier, which would negatively impact efficiency. It is essential that the car is well-functioning while pushing the boundaries, based on a balance of resistance, power, and construction. All the different designs developed by the various departments must be integrated to work together seamlessly.

Eco-Runner will be displaying its hydrogen-powered car at StocExpo on 14-16 March. Register now to see it in action!

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