Last month, Hyperion, a Californian manufacturer, teased the XP-1, their hydrogen powered supercar. A month later, we finally have more details on what the CEO claims to be the stepping stone to the automotive future.
“[People] think electric is different from hydrogen,” Kafantaris told Motortrend in a recent interview. “We really need to explain to them that electric is the future and hydrogen is the way to get there, not heavy batteries.”
As of now the XP-1 remains in prototype form. But if the production model stays true to the prototype’s specifications, Hyperion will undoubtedly pave the path to the victory of the hydrogen-electric platform, proving that they do in fact offer “all the same benefits of battery-electric vehicles with none of the drawbacks.”
According to Hyperion, the XP-1 with over a 1000hp challenges the Bugatti Chiron head to head with a 0-60 run of about 2.2 seconds. Utilise the proton exchange membrane fuel cell of the supercar, and it achieves a top speed of 221mph, mated to a 3speed gearbox putting power out on all wheels. While all of this is incredibly impressive, what is even more remarkable and perhaps more important, is its reported range of 1016 miles, which is about 1636 kilometres. Yes, all of that in a single tank. Despite this, Hyperion remains quiet on the size of the hydrogen tank. Regardless, the tank can be filled much faster than battery charged ones. Hyperion augments to this by planning on deploying several hydrogen charging stations around the country.
The XP-1 utilises the hydrogen in fuel cells that combine hydrogen with oxygen from the air in a process that creates water, and a stream of electricity to power the car. This allows for zero-emissions, with aforementioned water being the only thing the supercar excretes. The XP-1 has much longer range than a battery-powered electric car because compressed hydrogen has much more power per liter than a battery, Hyperion CEO Angelo Kafantaris explained. This fact, along with hydrogen’s exponential weight savings over its lithium ion counterparts, allows the XP-1 to be super lightweight, achieving higher efficiency, i.e, more speed, more range.
It may sound utopian on paper, but putting the 300 planned XP-1s on the production line is much more of a challenge. It ought to be extremely expensive as well (Hyperion hasn’t shed any light on pricing), which won’t exactly help the CEO’s vision of hydrogen’s seamless entry into paving the automotive future. But it’s only a prototype, the earliest one to reach such a calibre, which means we can only wait and watch. If all goes according to plan, Hyperion will commence delivery for the XP-1 on 2022.