The German engineer Roland Gumpert and the Chinese company Aiways are launching a sports car with hydrogen / electricity-producing methanol fuel cells on the market. In mid-May, the Gumpert Nathalie series model was officially presented and production start announced. Deliveries are planned for next year.
“It was my idea of an electric car that would not stop when the battery that led us on this path was empty. Now we are presenting the world’s first series-production vehicle with a methanol fuel cell that is independent of charging stations or special hydrogen filling stations, ”says Gumpert.
On the way to series production, the prototype version shown in 2018 had been revised in many places. The most striking feature is the “scissor door” doors, and the front and sidelines have also been refined. The use of lightweight biological materials such as flax is particularly progressive. In contrast to the previous carbon outer skin of the prototype, up to 50 percent of this material would be used in the “First Edition”.
The series version of the Nathalie now presented has a 15 kW methanol fuel cell, which permanently generates hydrogen from methanol and thus generates electricity, explains Gumpert. This enables city trips and trips on the country road almost without using the backup battery. The energy capacity of the overall system, consisting of a “methanol power cell” with a 65 liter tank and buffer battery, is 190 kWh.
Roland Gumpert promises that his new creation is ready for the racetrack. An FIA-compliant space frame with roll cage and the all-wheel drive would provide the necessary performance here. The acceleration from 0-100 km / h is given with 2.5 seconds, the top speed with 300 km / h. Like conventional cars, the vehicle can be refueled in three minutes with commercially available methanol. The supply is free of charge for customers in the first year after delivery.
The Nathalie “First Edition” is a special edition on the occasion of the product launch. The vehicles will be launched worldwide at a price of 407,000 euros. In total, a maximum of 500 units including the “First Edition” are to be built. The vehicles should be available from the first half of 2021.