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Future Fuelled Aston Martin

Future Fuelled Aston Martin

Fancy an Aston Martin? To be more precise, fancy an Aston Martin Rapide S? Of course you do, but it’s the running costs that are putting you off, isn’t it? Well, Aston Martin have been thinking about that.

The company understands that constantly evolving vehicle emission regulations means that they have got to achieve ever lower CO² output without jeopardising their super car image. One way they have found to do this is by utilising hydrogen power. Imagine that, a sports car powered by a V12 engine that is exempt from car tax under the existing rules.

Motor Blogger first mentioned this back in April and things have now moved on. Aston Martin have successfully run a car powered by a 90% gas and 10% petrol mix in the recent Nürburgring 24 Hour race, managing to go the distance. One lap was completed on hydrogen power alone and was thus emission free. This is a considerable achievement.AMHH2 Future Fuelled Aston Martin

Most hydrogen cars use fuel cells to generate electricity. The Aston however actually burns the hydrogen in a conventional engine. Best of all, the technology – developed by a company called Alset, based in Austria – can be fitted to existing engines. Fuel injectors for the gas are added along with additional software and a couple of small turbochargers but that’s it, although it’s not as simple as that makes it sound. The Rapide was chosen because it has the space to accommodate the pressurised storage tanks. Amazingly though, all this only adds around eighty extra kilos of weight which is considerably less than a massive battery pack.

The real beauty of this system is that when the hydrogen store is depleted the car simply continues to run on petrol. Brilliant. Right now there are only eleven hydrogen fuel stations in the UK but, given the exciting possibilities of this technology, that number is likely to grow very quickly when and if the finished product is rolled out.

When it comes to emissions it is obvious that the authorities mean business. Whether motorists agree with the climate change argument or not ever lower targets will continue to be issued. Car manufacturers are doing a great job with compliance and it would come as no surprise to find that in another twenty or thirty years the world’s automobiles will be virtually emission free. Thanks to the work done by companies like Aston Martin and their partners it seems that we might well be able to have our cake and gorge on it too. An emission free V12 – now you’re talking!

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- who has written 474 posts on Motor Blogger.

Geoff is a freelance writer and photographer.

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bG9nZ2VyX0xvZ28uanBnIjtpOjI7czo3MzoiaHR0cDovL21vdG9yYmxvZ2dlci5jby51ay93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzMtTW90b3JfQmxvZ2dlcl9Mb2dvLnBuZyI7fTwvbGk+PGxpPjxzdHJvbmc+d29vX3ZpZGVvX2NhdGVnb3J5PC9zdHJvbmc+IC0gQXV0byBOZXdzPC9saT48L3VsPg==