- Dutch students of Delft University of Technology have managed to break Toyota’s world distance record with their self-built hydrogen city car.
Within 36 hours they covered a record distance of 1196 km on one tank of hydrogen. This is almost 200 km more than the previous record of 1003 km. The students want to use this to show what is still technically possible in the field of hydrogen and mobility.
On 5 and 6 July, the students of the Eco-Runner Team of the Delft University of Technology made a record attempt in Helmond, the Netherlands. With seven different drivers, the team continuously drove for 1196 kmon one tank of hydrogen. With this, the students have broken the world distance record of 1003 km previously held by the Toyota Mirai.
A short breakdown stop
On Monday 5 July at 9.30 am the car was ready and the team started the record attempt in the pouring rain. It quickly became exciting when the bad weather conditions forced the car to make a breakdown stop. After the car was completely clean on the inside and bulkheads were placed around the wheels, the driver was able to continue driving without any problems. The rest of the attempt then went almost flawlessly and on Tuesday afternoon, the team already knew that Toyota’s record had probably been broken. However, the team then continued to drive until 21.30 in the evening and the tank was completely empty. In the end, the students well broke the record and covered a distance of 1196 in 36 hours. “An absolute milestone!”, says Reinout Sterk, Chief Engineer.
Hydrogen in future mobility
“By developing such an efficient hydrogen car within a year, we want to prove how efficient mobility can be and what the possibilities are of hydrogen.” With this record, the students show how far you can actually drive with hydrogen. By drawing attention to hydrogen in this way, the students want to show that hydrogen is an applicable alternative and a good addition to mobility. “Because of the large range, the advantages of being able to refuel quickly and the low weight, we think that hydrogen can have major advantages compared to a battery-electric car, but major developments are still needed for this and we try to stimulate that in this way.”
How does a hydrogen-powered car actually work?
“In the fuel cell of the car, hydrogen from the storage tanks is combined with oxygen from the environment to produce electricity.” says Mats Steerneman, Fuel Cell Engineer, “This electricity is then used to drive the electric motors, with water as the only residual product. In addition, hydrogen is a very lightweight fuel and can be refueled in about 5 minutes, making it highly applicable in the mobility sector.” There are blogs about hydrogen on the Eco-Runner Team Delft website, they also have their own hydrogen podcast series and an explainer video about both hydrogen and the project.