Currently reading: Hopium Machina is luxury FCEV with 620-mile range
French start-up pins hopes on hydrogen to carve out niche in hotly contested luxury EV market

The Hopium Machina is the first car from a French start-up that's aiming to claim a stake in the luxury EV segment by utilising hydrogen power.

Hopium claims the €120,000 (£104,000) FCEV making its debut at the Paris motor show will have a 1000km (620-mile) range and complete a refill in three minutes.

This should give it an edge over comparatively slow-charging battery-electric rivals, including the BMW i7 and Mercedes-Benz EQS, should hydrogen filling stations become abdundant enough to drive demand.

Power is provided by electric motors in an unknown arrangement, outputting 493bhp. This is sent to the road through bespoke Bridgestone tyres developed to minimise rolling resistance (and maximise range).

This allows the Machina to dispatch the 0-62mph sprint in less than 5.0sec, eventually topping out at 143mph.

For reference, the Lucid Air Dream Edition Performance reaches 168mph, while the Tesla Model S Plaid is claimed to top 200mph.

Inside, the Hopium features seating for four and an infotainment system spanning the entire dashboard, operated by haptic controls.

All the materials are sourced from Europe to minimise the carbon footprint involved in transporting them to Hopium’s planned factory in Normandy. This plant will open in 2025 and employ some 1500 staff, targeting production of around 20,000 cars per year.

Normandy is to play a key role in Hopium's expansion plans. It currently targets €120 million (£104m) in turnover by 2025 and €1 billion (£860m) in sales by 2030. 

Also underpinning these goals is Hopium’s premium positioning. The Machina will be priced in line with more established competitors, including the EQS and the Porsche Taycan, for which a second-generation model is due in 2027, two years after the Machina’s posited launch date.

Charlie Martin

Charlie Martin Autocar
Title: Editorial Assistant, Autocar

As a reporter, Charlie plays a key role in setting the news agenda for the automotive industry. He joined Autocar in July 2022 after a nine-month stint as an apprentice with sister publication, What Car?. He's previously contributed to The Intercooler, and placed second in Hagerty’s 2019 Young Writer competition with a feature on the MG Metro 6R4

He is the proud owner of a Fiat Panda 100HP, and hopes to one day add a lightweight sports car like an Alpine A110 or a Lotus Elise S1 to his collection.

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289 19 October 2022

Good luck with that!

jason_recliner 18 October 2022
That's hell sexy.
Peter Cavellini 18 October 2022

How about a Car for the majority , not the minority?, mostly all we see hear about are £100K+ Cars, they can't pay for the trickle down of latest tech, how many £100K Cars have to be sold to enable this?