AUSTRALIA: First hydrogen racing car unveiled

Researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne last week unveiled Australia's first hydrogen-powered racing car. The pioneering project demonstrates the incredible possibilities of hydrogen as the clean, renewable fuel of the future. The car will be aiming for the title of world's fastest hydrogen-powered racer when it attempts to break the Guinness World Records mark for speed by a vehicle of its class early next year.

Professor Aleksandar Subic, Head of the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, said RMIT's collaboration with Germany's Fachhochschule Ingolstadt University of Applied Sciences on the hydrogen car project could radically change the world's approach to automotive technologies.

"This is a demonstration vehicle for the future - a car that is powerful, fast and runs on clean, sustainable fuel," Subic said. "By aiming to set a new speed record for one-seater, hydrogen-powered racing cars, we want to show the world the possibilities of this alternative clean technology, both for ordinary vehicles and in racing."

He said the work would have benefits for all cars but it was also hoped it could lead one day to a first in racing - a clean and green Formula 1 competition. Powered by an internal combustion motorcycle engine modified to run on hydrogen, the racing car is expected to reach speeds of up to 170kmh in its world record bid, to be held in Germany next year.

The car was launched in Melbourne last Wednesday at the first International Conference on Sustainable Automotive Technologies.