The "Hycar 1" designed by scientists at Graz’ Technical University is a modified Mercedes E class which can run on hydrogen and fossil fuel.
Manfred Klell, the head of Hydrogen Center Austria (Hycenta) at the university, said yesterday (Weds) it could travel 150 kilometres on a single tank of hydrogen that would not produce any carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide or hydrocarbon emissions and only a small amount of nitrous gases, Austrian Times reports.
Helmut Eichlseder, head of the Institute for Internal Combustion Engines and Thermodynamics, called the combination of fossil fuel and hydrogen "a bridge technology for the transition to completely CO2-free hydrogen power."
He predicted a hydrogen-powered car would cost 10 to 20 per cent more than a similar fossil fuel-powered vehicle.
Both Klell and Eichlseder said the biggest immediate impediment to widespread use of hydrogen-powered cars was infrastructure since the only hydrogen service station in Austria was the one at Hycenta. Another problem was the need to put hydrogen tanks into thick sheaths for safety reasons.
The tank in the prototype completely fills the space in the boot of the car.