Volkswagen unwraps first fuel-cell car

Volkswagen has showed the world its first fuel-cell car during the opening of the California Fuel Cell Partnership Headquarters in Sacramento, CA.

Volkswagen showed the world its first fuel-cell car during the opening of the California Fuel Cell Partnership Headquarters in Sacramento, CA. Volkswagen calls the car the Bora HyMotion, which is designed as a genuine ‘zero emission vehicle.’ The Bora model is known as the Jetta in the US.

The HyMotion’s engine uses a fuel cell that transforms hydrogen and oxygen into electrical energy for the electric motor. The only by-product from this process is water vapour. In the HyMotion, the most efficient operation is realised at mid throttle, which is the throttle range used the most during driving.

The HyMotion tank has a capacity of 50 litres of liquid hydrogen at -253° C. This is an energy equal to 12 litres of petrol covering a range of about 350 kilometres. The asynchronous electric motor has a power output of 75 kW and with 240 Nm of torque in a large revving range, the Bora accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 12.6 sec reaching a top speed of 140 km/h.

The unveiling of this prototype comes in conjunction with the celebration of the grand opening of the headquarters for the historic California Fuel Cell Partnership, which was formed in April 1999 to pave the way for demonstrating fuel cell vehicles.

The Partnership includes auto manufacturers (DaimlerChrysler, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, Volkswagen, and soon GM and Toyota), energy providers (BP, Shell, Texaco), fuel cell companies (Ballard Power Systems and International Fuel Cells), and government agencies (the California Air Resources Board, California Energy Commission, US Department of Energy, US Department of Transportation, and the South Coast Air Quality Management District).