Aston Martin's Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S has become the first car to complete a full lap of an FIA-sanctioned race without emitting any CO2 emissions. The car achieved this when qualifying for the Nürburgring 24 Hours, running pure Hindenburg-juice through its 6L, twin turbo V12.
Here's what David King, Aston Martin's Special Products head has to say:
"We successfully raced the car at the Nürburgring 24 Hours in May, covering more than 20% of the race distance running only on hydrogen. Our CEO, Dr Ulrich Bez, a regular competitor at the race since 2006, actually completed more than 40 CO2emissions-free kilometres at full racing speed on one fill of hydrogen alone, comfortably exceeding our target. To finish a grueling 24-hour race like that was real testament to the engineering teams at Aston Martin and Alset who developed the car."
The Aston uses a hydrogen-powered ICE engine, not a fuel-cell or anything like that, which is really pretty old tech, the very first internal-combustion engine, the 1804 de Rivaz engine, using hydrogen as a fuel. Hydrogen combustion produces mostly water vapor as a result, and as such is quite clean to burn. Hydrogen's also the most common element in the universe, which makes it seem ideal, except for the fact that it's actually hard to get here on Earth. Oh, and it likes to explode.
Still, new ways to extract hydrogen are being discovered, and the containment systems are pretty good. Plus, a hydrogen-powered ICE tends to make about 20% more power than gasoline, so the future could be very fun indeed.