Hyperion, which specializes in hydrogen technology, unveils the futuristic XP-1 prototype via video. (Image courtesy of PRNewsfoto/Hyperion.)
Since President George W. Bush’s 2003 State of the Union Address where he promoted fuel cell technology and hydrogen technology, many people have been waiting for the arrival of hydrogen-powered cars in the market. According to Bush, the new technology would solve America’s energy, environmental and economic issues.
Finally, a futuristic hydrogen-powered hypercar is in the works. Hyperion, a California technology company focusing on hydrogen-based power and delivery, unveiled the XP-1 prototype via video following 10 years of development, testing and research in hydrogen technology by over 200 researchers and scientists.
Expected to hit the markets in 2022, the car will operate using proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells, which means they produce energy and power the car by combining hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen, the most abundant and lightest element, is also easy to obtain and affordable.
Though prices are still to be announced, the cost will vary depending on the vehicle’s level of performance.
Unlike vehicles using heavy lithium-ion batteries, the XP-1 stores electric energy via fuel cell systems, meaning it can provide all the benefits of electric or hybrid cars but without the added weight, extended charging times, battery degradation, and cost-prohibitive recyclability.
In fact, the car features a 1,000-mile range compared to the 600-mile range of the Tesla Roadster, the longest-range electric car currently on the market. The XP-1 can also be refilled in less than five minutes at public stations compared to 44 minutes to refill the Tesla Roadster. However, there will be a need for hydrogen fueling stations
and there are not many in the country now.
According to Hyperion, the XP-1’s hydrogen fuel cell technology
delivering power to four wheel accounts for the car going from 0-60 mph in an
astonishing 2.2 seconds, while also delivering better acceleration, braking, handling and powertrain efficiency
than an electric battery-powered vehicle. It is also not affected by extreme temperatures, so it does not require nonstop temperature maintenance, unlike some hybrid or electric vehicles.
The aerodynamic structure of the car not only allows for better control at high speeds, but it also contains solar panels
that can move to follow the trajectory of the sun.
Hyperion’s XP-1 uses spaceflight technology pioneered by NASA as well as other space technology derived from world-renowned aeronautical and engineering firms, and space agencies, including advanced hydrogen systems, power generation technology, and high-performance materials.
Hyperion is not just road vehicles (Hyperion Motors), but like Elon Musk’s
ventures, also partakes in space travel (Hyperion Aerospace) and energy