Hydrogen Combustion Cars Are Under The Spotlight

Hydrogen Combustion Cars Are Under The Spotlight - Carbon Herald

Some exciting news regarding hydrogen combustion cars is happening in February. For all fans of the vehicles that burn hydrogen instead of converting to electricity via a fuel cell, leading automakers – Toyota, Yamaha and Renault have announced new updates on their hydrogen plans. 

Yamaha and Toyota announced on February 17th they are collaborating on a hydrogen-fueled 5.0-liter V8 motor, trying to keep the internal combustion engine alive for decades to come. According to Yamada, the key goal of the project is to retain the sensual and exhilarating performance provided by an internal combustion engine, compared to the near-silent operation of an electric motor. 

Battery-electric racing has been criticized by some as sterile due to the lack of noise coming from the engine. Many companies that have intentions to go net zero, are trying to figure out how to keep their signature noises that some customers are attached to, while also decreasing the environmental impact of vehicles. 

On February 18th, Renault also teased a hydrogen combustion engine car to be revealed in full in May. It would be a new concept vehicle, likely to be an SUV. 

“We will soon launch a concept car. We wanted to materialize our vision of sustainability, based on the three pillars – safety, inclusion and environment – on one product. This concept will announce a future product. When we do concepts at Renault, we want to turn them into real cars,” said Renault CEO Luca de Meo.

Hydrogen internal combustion engine cars are different from hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in the sense that the latter use electrochemical use of hydrogen rather than combustion. Burning hydrogen produces water vapor along with a small amount of nitrogen oxides, but no carbon dioxide. Yamaha is aiming to create an engine that burns hydrogen without any tailpipe emissions.

Relevant: What Are Hydrogen Fuel Cells?

Even though engines running on hydrogen would make certain roar-engine enthusiasts happy, they have been criticized for creating nitrogen oxide, which isn’t entirely emissions-free driving. Even though there are no CO2 emissions, NOx is still not a compromise as automakers look to no pollution vehicles. Therefore, the technology has some issues to overcome until it catches up with the zero-emissions hydrogen fuel cell vehicle technology.

Relevant: New German Government Looks To Hydrogen For Decarbonization

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