The world’s first hydrogen fuel cell-powered Formula One race car recently competed against over 100 other gas-powered race cars at the Silverstone circuit in the UK. Delft University of Technology hydrogen racing team Forze celebrated the success of their hydrogen fuel cell racing car, the Forze V, in the formula student competition.
During the annual Formula Student event at Silverstone 132 teams from universities across the world compete. The majority of the cars use fossil fuel powered combustion engines, but the use of battery powered cars has increased in recent years. The Forze V entry from the students at Delft University of Technology is the world’s first and only hydrogen fuel cell powered formula one car.
The Forze V racing car uses a fuel cell to produce electricity to power the car’s two electric motors. The fuel cell generates 24 horsepower, but during braking the race car uses the motors to regenerate and store energy. This extra energy allows for a temporary power boost of 80 horsepower. The Forze V can reach 0-60 mph in five seconds and has a top speed of 75 mph. A full tank of 600 grams of gaseous hydrogen allows the car to race for about an hour at full speed, with water being the only exhaust product. The long range and the fact that refueling takes only a few minutes is the reason why the team thinks fuel cells are the long term solution for sustainable mobility.