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The Hydrogen Stream: Viritech, Pininfarina unveil world’s first ‘hydrogen hypercar’

Viritech and Pininfarina have announced plans to put a hydrogen-fueled car into limited production in 2023, while H2 Clipper said it aims to finish a prototype of its hydrogen-powered airship by 2025.

Viritech has unveiled the 1,000-kg Apricale, a hydrogen-fueled, high-performance car with half the weight of comparable battery vehicles. The UK startup calls it the world’s first “hydrogen hypercar.” It claimed that the Apricale “is the ultimate proof that hydrogen is the best solution for any vehicle where weight is a critical factor.” Pininfarina built the body, while Viritech developed the powertrain technology. They will put the car into limited production in 2023, with plans to make 25 cars  per year at Pininfarina’s facilities.

H2 Clipper has completed a simulated wind tunnel test of its hydrogen-powered airship, by using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). “The analysis confirms that the airship’s aerodynamic design achieves an extremely low level of residual drag and is another step in validating the airship’s operating performance and the company’s cost modeling,” said the California-based aerospace company. It aims to complete a prototype in 2025 and fly its first full-sized airship in 2028.

The European Commission and the Norwegian government have agreed to strengthen their cooperation in the energy field, with up to 100 TWh of extra energy to be supplied to the European market this year. Their medium-term hydrogen plans include joint cooperation on offshore renewables and carbon capture and storage (CCS). In line with this, ENOVA has also announced NOK 1.12 billion (€0.11 billion) of funding for hydrogen production, infrastructure, and vehicle projects along the Norwegian coast.

Ember said in a newly published report that electrolyzers, interconnections, and clean dispatchable generation will be the three key technologies needed for Europe to achieve a clean electricity system based on solar and wind by 2035. The London-based climate think tank said that granular modeling shows Europe can operate a 95% clean power system without compromising reliability, even with unfavorable climatic conditions. “By 2035, wind and solar output frequently exceed demand, at which point electrolyzers convert excess supply into green hydrogen,” it said. “The electrolyzer fleet grows to 200 GW to 400 GW by 2035.”

Siemens Energy and Air Liquide have announced the creation of a joint venture dedicated to the series production of industrial-scale renewable hydrogen electrolyzers in Europe. “Production is expected to begin in the second half of 2023 and ramp-up to an annual production capacity of 3 GW by 2025,” said the Franco-German partnership.

Airbus and Linde have signed a memorandum of understanding in Berlin to develop hydrogen infrastructure at airports throughout the world. “Both companies will define and launch pilot projects at several airports from early 2023 onwards,” wrote the European aerospace manufacturer

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Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) and a leading group of German companies have released a green hydrogen roadmap. They outlined recommendations for governments and the industry for large-scale green hydrogen imports to Germany.

RWE and ArcelorMittal have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop, build and operate offshore wind farms and hydrogen facilities, in order to produce low-emissions steel in Germany. The two companies will start with a 70 MW pilot plant in Bremen and Eisenhüttenstad by 2026. Planned increases to gigawatt-scale projects over the long term will depend on public funding.

Gasgrid Finland has secured support from the Finnish government for its expansion plans. It aims to work on hydrogen transmission infrastructure and the development of a related hydrogen market. It will set up a subsidiary, VetyVerkko, to develop hydrogen transmission projects. 

Nuvera Fuel Cells has received an order for an E-Series Fuel Cell Engine from CMT, a propulsion technology research institute at the Universitat Politècnica de València Spain. CMT will evaluate the use of Nuvera’s fuel cell engines in the road and aerospace sectors.

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Source: pv magazine