Hydrogen-powered engine for new Cobra boosts profile of clean energy

Click to follow

The death of the American gas guzzler came a step closer yesterday with the launch of the Hydrogen Shelby Cobra, a high-performance sports car powered by an engine using new fuel technology.

The death of the American gas guzzler came a step closer yesterday with the launch of the Hydrogen Shelby Cobra, a high-performance sports car powered by an engine using new fuel technology.

The Shelby Cobra is one of the world's most famous sports cars, and its launch with a hydrogen-powered engine will raise significantly the profile of clean energy as a realistic alternative to petrol. The company behind the car also claimed its engines would have a political dimension, helping to reduce the US's oil dependency and "contribute to fuel security".

Launched by the California-based Hydrogen Car Company, the new Cobra is aimed at aspirational motorists and car enthusiasts keen to drive a clean-energy version of a car launched backin 1962.

HCC said its vehicles were based not on experimental technology but on the traditional internal combustion engine. "The hydrogen internal combustion engine uses existing, proven technologies to deliver the environmental and fuel-security benefits of a hydrogen fuel cell, but at a fraction of the complexity and the cost," HCC said yesterday.

The engine will run on hydrogen fuel generated from water electrolysis in a process supplied by Stuart Energy Systems. The vehicles have no carbon emissions and extremely low nitrous oxide emissions.

Refuelling stations for the new Cobras are being built across California. David Freeman, the chairman of HCC, said: "We have an historic opportunity to fundamentally change the fuel we use to power our cars. We don't have to wait decades until hydrogen fuel cell vehicles become viable. The hydrogen internal combustion engine can help us end our dangerous dependence on fossil fuels today, and it will serve as a bridging technology to the fuel cell."

The cars will each cost $149,000 (£81,000) and have 7.8 litre or 5.8 litre engines and composite or aluminium bodies.

Comments