- Students of the Eco-Runner Team of the Delft University of Technology will try to beat Toyota’s world record distance with their self-built hydrogen car.
On 5 and 6 July, they will drive their hydrogen-powered city car for 30 consecutive hours at the R&TC in Helmond, the Netherlands, thereby pushing the boundaries of what is technically possible.
With a tank that contains 12 times less hydrogen than that of the Toyota Mirai, they expect to break the current record and drive more than 1000 km non-stop. Ultimately with the goal: to emphasize the importance of hydrogen and sustainable mobility.
A New Challenge
The team already won the title of ‘most efficient hydrogen-powered city car in the Netherlands’ this year during their self-organized efficiency race. Now they want to push their limits even further and take on a real technical challenge, driving non-stop until the current hydrogen distance record of the Toyota Mirai is broken. On May 31 this year, this record was set with the latest hydrogen car from Toyota, which drove 1003 km on a tank of 5.6 kg of hydrogen. With this new record, they have raised the bar for the Eco-Runner team higher.
A hyper-efficient city car
With a completely self-designed car, the students believe they can break the record of the Toyota Mirai by driving an even longer distance. Although the car is a lot smaller and only suitable for one person, the tank also contains 12 times less hydrogen, namely 450 grams. This amount can be refueled for only five euros, with which you can drive all the way from Amsterdam to Milan. Lotte Borstlap, Project Manager: “By continuing to innovate, we want to show the possibilities of sustainable mobility and emphasize its importance. In this way we hope to inspire others to think for themselves about fossil-free living.”
Thirty hours driving non-stop
During the attempt, seven different drivers will drive for a while. It is estimated that it will take about 30 hours to break the record, while maintaining an average speed of 38 km/h. The lightest and smallest people in the team will therefore commit themselves and drive together as efficiently as possible to achieve this distance. It will be a real technical challenge to drive this self-produced car for so long. “We have never driven the car for more than a few hours in a row,” said Reinout Sterk, Chief Engineer, “so we hope that all parts in the car, especially the fuel cell, will last these 30 hours.” However, the team is confident that this will succeed and that they will set a new world record.
The Eco-Runner team consists of 23 ambitious students from TU Delft, who spent a year designing and building their hydrogen-powered city car. For years, the university has represented at the Shell Eco-marathon, where they participated in the Prototype class until 2019 and have always achieved the top 3 here. Then they switched to the more challenging Urban Concept class and have been building a city car for two years now. By continuing to innovate and exploring the edges of what is technically possible, the students want to show what is possible in the mobility sector. With their hyper-efficient hydrogen city car, the team promotes the importance of hydrogen and sustainable mobility.