AS THE price of fuel for the parental taxi soars and concerns grow about the impact of car culture on the environment, a team of scientists from the University of Sunderland have come up with a hydrogen-powered car which they believe is a significant step forward in creating a mass-produced green machine.
The team, led by Dirk Kok, have successfully adapted a Nissan Almera to run on hydrogen so that it only emits water from its exhaust.
The HyPower Nissan Almera was unveiled last month at the Partners4Automotive 2008 conference at the University of Sunderland.
It is claimed that the HyPower project is a major breakthrough in the development of green transport and a “significant step” towards a better understanding of hydrogen as a fuel for vehicles.
Kok says: “The whole subject of hydrogen as a fuel for cars is intriguing. It all depends upon the price of oil, the driving range of these new green vehicles, ease of safely filling these vehicles and the availability of competing systems, which we are also researching.
“The HyPower project does demonstrate that hydrogen is a practical and environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels. But though this is a significant step forward, there is still a long way to go before we see these vehicles driving about our roads.”
Meanwhile, researchers at the University of Bath are helping to develop new rechargeable batteries that could improve hybrid electric cars in the future.
They are looking for new materials to use in rechargeable lithium batteries similar to those that have helped to power the worldwide “portable revolution” in mobile phones, laptops and MP3 players.