The French company Hopium wasted no time in setting up a prototype. The company announced its intention to build high-performance hydrogen cars in October 2020, and has now shown video of its Alpha 0 car on a test track reaching 200 km / h (124 mph).
The production car, called Machina, promises more than 500 horsepower, a top speed of 230 km / h and a range of over 1,000 km with two full hydrogen tanks. Expect these 500 horsepower to be just a brief blast, the duration of which will depend on the size of the buffer battery.
Two 700 bar hydrogen tanks are supplied by Plastic Omnium, in Belgium. One runs in the middle of the chassis floor, the other, shorter, is placed laterally under the trunk, with the fuel cell in the front. On renderings, the chassis is much flatter than that of a mid-combustion car, but not as compact as a battery-powered electric chassis. Refueling will also be much faster, according to Hopium, since a hydrogen pump will only take three minutes.
A futuristic design for the brand’s first hydrogen car
According to the company, its defining element will be the wavy design of its headlights, which indeed looks very elegant. We’d be surprised if it wasn’t so maneuverable – Olivier Lombard, the founder of Hopium, is a talented racing driver. In 2011, he won the LMP2 category at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, becoming the youngest Le Mans winner in history.
Hydrogen is shaping up to be a booming sector in the field of renewable energies, thanks to its ability to store renewable energy in a transportable form. But the beginnings will be difficult: at the end of 2020, there were only 553 hydrogen stations in the world.
Japan was in the lead with 142 stations, while France’s 34 stations placed it in second position in Europe, behind Germany, which has 100. The construction of new hydrogen stations is accelerating, however, and this trend should continue as hydrogen begins to prove the value of a fast-filling, high-density liquid electro-fuel in the long-haul road transport sector.
Why choose a hydrogen car
Would a fully built refueling infrastructure make hydrogen an excellent choice for passenger cars? Yes, in certain circumstances.
It’ll be better than a battery-powered electric car for long days on the highway, since you’ll be able to refuel and hit the road about as quickly as current gasoline cars.
It will also be better for people who cannot charge it at home, such as many apartment dwellers. Outside of these use cases, batteries are likely to remain more attractive to most city dwellers.
Where to buy the Machina Alpha 0 from Hopium
Hopium has opened the order books and is now accepting deposits of € 410 (US $ 488) for the first thousand Machina out of the chain, with full prices starting at a pretty brutal price of € 120,000 (US $ 143,000). and deliveries estimated from 2025.
“The Hopium teams are already fully committed to achieving the next steps,” read a press release from the company, “aiming to produce Hopium Machina on an industrial scale, with a new appointment scheduled in the first quarter of 2022. ”
Discover the Hopium Alpha 0 in video