Australia’s first hydrogen racing car unveiled at RMIT

Monday, 10 November, 2008

RMIT University researchers have unveiled Australia’s first hydrogen-powered racing car, in a project that demonstrates the incredible possibilities of hydrogen as the clean, renewable fuel of the future.

The car will be bidding for the title of world’s fastest hydrogen-powered racer when it attempts to break the Guinness World Records mark for speed by a vehicle of its class in early 2009.

Professor Aleksandar Subic, Head of the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, said RMIT’s collaboration with Germany’s Fachhochschule Ingolstadt University of Applied Sciences on the hydrogen car project could change the world’s approach to automotive technologies.

“This is a demonstration vehicle for the future — a car that is powerful, fast and runs on clean, sustainable fuel,” Subic said.

“By aiming to set a new speed record for one-seater, hydrogen-powered racing cars, we want to show the world the possibilities of this alternative clean technology, both for ordinary vehicles and in racing.

“Our work will have benefits for all cars but we also hope it could lead one day to a first in racing — a clean and green Formula 1 competition.”

Powered by an internal combustion motorcycle engine that has been modified to run on hydrogen, the racing car is expected to reach speeds of up to 170 km/h in its world record bid, to be held in Germany next year.

“This project was not just about theory — it exposed RMIT students to the actual challenges of building and testing a racing car using cutting-edge sustainable automotive technology,” RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Margaret Gardner AO, said.


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