Hydrogen

Hydrogen motorcycle with transparent bodywork

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For now, it is only a project that explores what the motorcycles of the future could be like. However, it already proposes a real mechanical solution that would significantly extend the range of future two-wheeled electric motorcycles and thus solve one of the most critical points of this emission-free technology.

As in cars of this type, in the Hydra a fuel cell is powered by hydrogen to generate electricity, which is stored in a battery and provides the necessary energy to the electric motor.

The main advantages of the fuel cell are that the hydrogen needed for its operation can be refueled quickly at a pump, just like traditional fuels, avoiding the necessary waiting time for the batteries to recover their autonomy when plugged into the mains.

The most abundant fuel

In addition, fuel cell technology substantially improves the range of pure electric vehicles. One example is the advanced Toyota Mirai sedan, which has already managed to exceed 1,000 kilometers of range with a single refueling of its tanks (5.6 kilograms of hydrogen).

In the case of the Hydra motorcycle, the mechanical concept is similar but simplified as much as possible, without abandoning the basic fuel cell approach. A specially reinforced tank holds the hydrogen (H2), since in a conventional tank its molecules would escape without difficulty through the metal wall.

From this element, which is the lightest and most abundant in nature, a fuel cell converts it into electricity by reacting with atmospheric oxygen. The energy is transferred to a battery that powers the central electric motor, which in turn transmits the motion to the rear wheel via a toothed belt.

A different design

But the Hydra is not only distinguished by its advanced clean technology, as it only emits water vapor in operation. Its design is the work of Anton Brousseau, Anton Guzhov and Andre Taylforth, three prestigious creators who have already worked for Kiska Design, the design office that shapes among others the bikes of KTM, Husqvarna or GasGas.

The result is a spectacular roadster type bike in which above all draws attention to its transparent polycarbonate fairing that reveals its mechanical parts and also by the minimalism of the controls and seat. And it seems that this is a particular aesthetic that could soon be applied to new models with more conventional mechanics.

However, the hydrogen solution proposed by Hydra for emission-free motorcycles is not new. Some manufacturers, such as Segway or H2Motronics and also major brands such as Kawasaki, Yamaha and Honda are already working in this direction, which could set the course for new technologies on two and three wheels.

Pending the announced disappearance of thermal engines, hydrogen is emerging as one of the main alternatives to fossil fuels. Provided that the challenges of obtaining it on a large scale using renewable energies and having an adequate distribution network are resolved.

Nedim Husomanovic

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