Alpine plans hydrogen-powered cars

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According to Alpine’s chief executive officer, the automaker’s future models may have a hydrogen combustion engine.

The internal combustion engine has been replaced by the hydrogen engine. While European ministers have recently approved the termination of combustion engine sales beginning in 2035, the hydrogen combustion engine could save manufacturers who are increasingly interested in this alternative. Toyota is now testing the technology in a hydrogen-powered Corolla racing car, and Hyundai is developing its first engine for heavy-duty vehicles. The sports brand of Renault is also “very interested” in the topic.

Alpine revealed a hydrogen-powered supercar concept built by students at the Turin Design Institute a few weeks ago. However, Alpine’s CEO, Laurent Rossi, has more to say regarding the manufacturer’s future.

“We want to develop alternatives that are not necessarily incompatible with electrification,” he told reporters from the British website Autocar during the British Grand Prix. “Electrification is the future of the vehicle for at least 60 to 70 percent of the car fleet, whether we like it or not.” “In our case, we believe that hydrogen could be one of these fuels. Hydrogen has the environmental benefit of being highly compatible with electrification, as the parallel route to hydrogen as a fuel is hydrogen as a fuel cell, which generates energy “He proceeded.

Competition preceding series development

Alpine’s goal is to demonstrate the technology on a race car at Le Mans or another automobile competition where hydrogen could play a role. The brand may even design a special prototype, as Volkswagen did with its ID.R electric vehicle.

“We believe that a proof of concept could be conducted using hydrogen as a fuel, which could subsequently be used to ultra-high performance vehicles, and why not Alpine road cars?” he elaborated. “We are aware that Le Mans is supporting hydrogen fuel cells, which is a step in the right direction, but we want to take another step forward by using hydrogen as a fuel to be able to use a V6 – a hybrid V6 – powered by hydrogen.”

The Renault group employs hydrogen on all fronts

While continuing to spend extensively in its battery-powered electric lineup, Renault has been making hydrogen-related announcements for the past few months.

Renault has explored the possibility of hydrogen with the Scenic Vision, a concept vehicle that combines batteries with a small 15 kW fuel cell that serves as a range extender. Alpine has worked with fuel cell expert Plug Power in the competition division from March 2021.

Nedim Husomanovic

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