Ecological vehicles are celebrating the arrival of the youngest member of their family, the HyPower Nissan Almera. Developed by a group of experts from the Sunderland University, it is powered by hydrogen. Actually, it is not a completely new car. The scientist team, led by Dirk Kok of AMAP (the Institute of Automotive and Manufacturing Advanced Practice), in collaboration with the Centre for Process Innovation based at Wilton, as well as Lambda One Autogas in Gateshead, has managed to adapt a Nissan Almera car to use hydrogen as fuel. This way, its exhaust only contains water. The car was unveiled yesterday during the Partners4Automotive 2008 conference held at the Sir Tom Cowie Campus of the University of Sunderland. The aim of the international conference is to show the local industry and business the latest top-notch developments in fields like alternative fuel technology for transporting systems.
Adrian Morris, Operations Manager at AMAP, praises the HyPower as an important breakthrough for the development of “green transport.” “This project marks a significant step forwards in our understanding of hydrogen as a fuel for the automotive industry. This vehicle will act as a test bed to evaluate novel hydrogen technologies in vehicles and will enhance the region’s status as an important automotive research and development centre.” Mr. Morris says. “The whole subject of hydrogen as a fuel for cars is intriguing. It all depends upon the price of oil, the driving range of these new green vehicles, ease of safely filling these vehicles, and the availability of competing systems, which we are also researching. The HyPower project does demonstrate that hydrogen is a practical and environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels. But though this is a significant step forward, there is still a long way to go before we see these vehicles driving about our roads,” adds Dirk Kok.