Currently reading: Hyperion XP-1 hydrogen-powered supercar revealed
American technology start-up promises 1000-mile range and 0-60mph in 2.2sec from fuel cell EV
Tom Morgan, deputy digital editor
News
2 mins read
12 August 2020

American start-up Hyperion has unveiled the XP-1 hydrogen electric supercar, which it claims offers 1000 miles of range between refills.

Announced as part of a plan to increase wider adoption of hydrogen technology across the automotive industry, the two-seat XP-1 combines hydrogen fuel cells with supercapacitor storage to power multiple electric motors. Drive is sent to all four wheels, and although performance details are limited, the company claims it will be capable of a 221mph top speed and should manage 0-60mph in 2.2sec.

Supercapacitors are smaller and lighter than traditional lithium ion batteries, allowing the XP-1 to arrive with a kerb weight of just 1032kg. Hyperion claims this gives it a handling advantage over similarly potent battery electric supercars, which are much heavier.

Unlike current BEV technology, which can overheat after running at peak performance for extended periods, supercapacitors aren't affected by extreme temperatures and will deliver consistent performance. And while they can't hold as much energy, a 1:1 charge-to-discharge ratio means they're much more efficient. 

The recently-revealed Lamborghini Sián FKP 37 hybrid hypercar also uses the technology but relies solely on regenerative braking to recharge its small battery.

The XP-1's carbonfibre hydrogen tanks will hold enough fuel for 1000 miles of driving at street-legal speeds and can be refilled in less than five minutes. Hyperion has plans to supply hydrogen refuelling stations across the US, with more details to follow closer to the car's release.

“Aerospace engineers have long understood the advantages of hydrogen as the most abundant, lightest element in the universe," Hyperion CEO Angelo Kafantaris explained. "Now, with this vehicle, consumers will experience its extraordinary value proposition.

“This is only the beginning of what can be achieved with hydrogen as an energy storage medium. The potential of this fuel is limitless and will revolutionise the energy sector.”

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Currently in the prototype stage, the XP-1 will also feature active aerodynamics that double as solar panels, articulating to follow the position of the sun when not improving cornering at high speeds. 

California-based Hyperion supplies hydrogen propulsion systems to engineering firms and space agencies including Nasa. The company aims to begin production on the XP-1 in 2022, with volume being restricted to just 300 units worldwide.

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Comments
9

12 August 2020

as in photoshop image made up in an office. 

13 August 2020

I want a NASA power supply in my next car! 

Simply and truly SUPERB.

12 August 2020

 Better watch out, that looks a bit like the Bugatti Chiron to me, I like there confidence to say a 1000 mile range along with Tesla baiting performance, could that really be possible with this technology?

12 August 2020
Quote:

Supercapacitors are smaller and lighter than traditional lithium ion batteries, allowing the XP-1 to arrive with a kerb weight of just 1032kg. Hyperion claims this gives it a handling advantage over similarly potent battery electric supercars, which are much heavier.

It's also 800 kg lighter than the other hydrogen vehicles currently on sale, which have half the top speed, a third of the range and no solar panels. It may be smaller and built from lighter materials, but that should just balance out the extra powertrain weight - as we see with, say, the similar-weight Tesla Model 3 and Rimac Concept_One. The weight difference here is baffling, and it's not doing that with supercapacitors. [i](In fact I'd be surprised if that saves any weight at all - a Mirai's battery pack weighs 49kg, a similar-sized supercapacitor array would provide full power in a 600kW car for about 15 seconds.)[/i]

Maybe I'll be eating my words in a few years, but frankly it sounds fake. Even if it turns out to be a tiny vehicle in which every panel and bolt is carbon fibre, and can only vmax for a few seconds, those figures would be completely unprecedented.

12 August 2020
Vertigo wrote:
Quote:

Supercapacitors are smaller and lighter than traditional lithium ion batteries, allowing the XP-1 to arrive with a kerb weight of just 1032kg. Hyperion claims this gives it a handling advantage over similarly potent battery electric supercars, which are much heavier.

It's also 800 kg lighter than the other hydrogen vehicles currently on sale, which have half the top speed, a third of the range and no solar panels. It may be smaller and built from lighter materials, but that should just balance out the extra powertrain weight - as we see with, say, the similar-weight Tesla Model 3 and Rimac Concept_One. The weight difference here is baffling, and it's not doing that with supercapacitors. [i](In fact I'd be surprised if that saves any weight at all - a Mirai's battery pack weighs 49kg, a similar-sized supercapacitor array would provide full power in a 600kW car for about 15 seconds.)[/i] Maybe I'll be eating my words in a few years, but frankly it sounds fake. Even if it turns out to be a tiny vehicle in which every panel and bolt is carbon fibre, and can only vmax for a few seconds, those figures would be completely unprecedented.

 

I think you may be eating your words. Land Rover are investing in eacctly the same technologies because they recognise that Lithium based battery tech is a dead end for big heavy SUVs. This is because battery weight required to give a Land Rover Defender the range it needs is hugely problematical. The main issue is that the battery packs are exceptionally heavy and the more weight you add the more expensive it becomes to increase the range of the vehicle.

This is the big secret the car industry is hiding in some ways. Ask yourself why the big Car makers continue to spend big on hydrogen fuel cell development. The tech used here is what they really see as the future.

lithium ion battery's are dirty to produce, expensive to make and inefficient on big and heavy cars.  

13 August 2020

I find it very coincidental that of the manufacturers currently mass marketing BEV's, it's the largest ones (ie: the 2 tonne+ SUVs) that offer the highest range (even Tesla's model S weighs over 2 tonnes).  Extending BEV range requires one of 2 routes, higher energy density batteries, or bigger and heavier batteries and Lithium-Ion batteries are rapidly approaching their theoretical ceiling for energy density.

So unless there is an imminient breakthrough in carbon nano-tubes, graphene, or solid state batteries - the only way to get more range in BEVS is to make them physically bigger and heavier. 

Fuel cells are one way - but there also needs to be a significant breakthrough in Hydrogen production to make that publicly acceptable as a 'green' alternative. Supercapicitors are also a potential alternative, but they are very low capacity. Great in a hybrid situation where they get fed energy from a source and can rapidly store and discharge it.

13 August 2020

Of course you have to ask the question do I really need to have a range of over 300 miles, I used to do 30k miles a year but not once did I do more than 150 in one go.  Range is not really a problem when you can drive for 6 hrs and complete 300 miles and certainly not if you add another 150 miles in 30 minutes.  Recharge speed is now probably more important, just ask Porsche

p.s. the Mira weighs 1850kg a Model 3 weighs from 1620kg, Long range one 1730kg so both are a fair bit lighter than a hydrogen car 

13 August 2020

This concept - moveable solar panels and all - is a nonsense. But hydrogen fuel cell planes? Yes please. Battery electric planes are decades away and may not be feasible even then, but hydrogen fuelled planes seems a much more achievable goal and could produce real environmental benefit. Airports in suitable climates could even produce their own fuel using solar onsite.

14 August 2020

> "This is the big secret the car industry is hiding in some ways..."

The secret is that fuel-cell vehicles are a long way from being practical. The new Hyundai Nexo, a third-generation fuel cell car, is on sale from £70,000. This is for a slow car with a range of only 240 miles. I don't see how they are ever going to be affordable. You basically need an electric car and then add an expensive fuel cell and then some expensive carbon fibre storage tanks. And those tanks take up a lop of space, even for a limited range like this.

Maybe fuel cells could work in trucks. But you have to have the re-fuelling infrastructure in place before in becomes usable and who is going to take the risk of investing billions in that.

This is on top of the inneficiencies of producing and pressurising hydrogen.

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