The LIFEcar : A Zero-Emissions Sports Car
A few years ago, a partnership between a handful of British Companies began developing a zero-emissions sports car that was still fun to drive. The 100mph concept is finally complete and will be presented at the Geneva Motor Show.
A large part of the partnership was QinetiQ, one of Europe's largest science and technology companies. The Morgan Motor Company, a legend in British Sports cars, is also a key contributor on the LIFEcar team.
The LIFEcar stands for (Lightweight Fuel Efficient Car). It draws power from fuel cells that convert Hydrogen and Oxygen into electricity which is then fed into small electric motors. When designing the body and frame, weight reduction was of the highest priority. By reducing the overall weight, less power is needed to move and sustain speed. In its final form, the LIFEcar is able to cruise almost effortlessly using a 24Kw system. Most competitors use at least 85Kw.
The lightweight design and highly efficient fuel cell system give the LIFEcar a top speed of about 100mph. No official acceleration numbers have been released as of yet. The designers also incorporated regenerative braking and ultra-capacitors into the drive system. As you stop, energy in stored in the capacitors and then released during acceleration to help reduce fuel consumption even farther.
The vehicle cost about £1.9million ($3.77 million) to finish and brought together some of the best minds Europe has to offer. They hope to continue developing more efficient systems for future cars.