What is a Hypercar® Vehicle?
Rocky Mountain Institute's research has shown that the best (possibly, the only) way to achieve this is by building an aerodynamic vehicle body using advanced composite materials and powering it with an efficient hybrid-electric drive-train.
Initially, the hybrid-electric drivetrain in Hypercar® vehicles will probably use a specialized version of the internal combustion engine commonly used in today's cars. To reach their full potential, and virtually eliminate automobile pollution, Hypercar® vehicles will be powered by fuel-cells running on tanks of compressed gaseous hydrogen fuel.
Unlike other efficient vehicles, Hypercar® vehicles don't compromise performance, comfort, or safety. Indeed, by offering extra consumer appeal and manufacturing advantages, they stand a better chance of getting on the road — and forcing old, polluting cars off — in sufficient numbers to make a big difference to the environment. Hypercar® vehicles and their kin could profitably reduce carbon-dioxide emissions (the major contributor to climate change) by two-thirds, partly by greatly accelerating the shift to hydrogen fuel cells.
In 1994 we founded the Hypercar Center® to research and promote this concept. Having proved its technical feasibility through rigorous technical modeling, the Center's staff spent the past several years making Hypercar® technology a commercial reality. Their unconventional approach has been to place the concept in the public domain and share it conspicuously with some two dozen major car companies and new market entrants to maximize competition in capturing its market and manufacturing advantages. The result: billions of dollars' private investment, and rapid movement of Hypercar-like concepts toward the marketplace.
In 1999, we took this process a step further by launching a for-profit venture, Hypercar, Inc., to speed the industry's transition by exerting direct competitive pressure. This independent company, in which RMI has a minority interest, is now taking the lead in advancing key areas of Hypercar research and development.
In 2004, Hypercar, Inc. changed its name to Fiberforge (www.fiberforge.com) to better reflect the company's new direction and its goal of lowering the cost of high-volume advanced-composite structures.
For a free full PDF download detailing the Hypercar concept see Hypercars, Hydrogen and the Automotive Transition here
Image - http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/docs/1997/105-6/hypercarbig.GIF
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