British sports car manufacturer BAC has “backed off” from development of its hydrogen fuel-cell E-Mono, company co-founder Neill Briggs has told Autocar.
In 2021, BAC announced it had partnered with MIRA-based Viritech to create a zero-emission version of the Mono sports car. Their efforts yielded the E-Mono, a virtual study using a hydrogen fuel cell stack, 20kWh battery and four electric motors, giving a 704kg kerbweight and 371bhp power output.
Little has been said about the hydrogen project since mid-2022. Now, the British firm’s co-founder has hinted that the UK government’s push towards battery-electric vehicles – plus recent filling station closures – has slowed the development of hydrogen powertrains.
“We conducted that investigation about two years ago, primarily [because], as a business, we needed to be prepared for whichever way the government went [with its energy strategy],” he said.
“Obviously, the direction that they've gone means we've somewhat taken our foot off the pedal, really, with regards to E-Mono. We're focusing now on our current products for the next 3, 4, 5 years.”
But, Briggs added, that doesn’t mean the project won’t bear fruit in the future: “The great thing is that as an agile business, we're in a position where – should the need arise – we can do further investigations in a fairly short period of time.
“I do think that hydrogen as a solution is a possible solution, as part of this hybrid of different solutions.”
The firm’s decision has been vindicated by its exemption from the EU’s 2035 ban on sales of new combustion cars: as a manufacturer outputting fewer than 1000 vehicles per year, it will be allowed to continue sales of the ICE-powered Mono.