Electric cars that provide both a high efficiency and high performance, it was the first of its kind. Twenty-five years ago cars were emission spewing gas guzzling monsters. Twenty-five years from now they will be zero-emissions electric children of the tzero. Twenty-five years ago electric vehicles had a range of about 60 miles. Today the tzero has a range of 300 miles and 25 years from now it could easily be over a thousand. What’s so special about this? It’s no Southern California electric car. It’s an opal; sure it looks cool; sure it goes pretty fast. It’s an Opel Eco Speedster has a five speed manual transmission which requires no clutch. It’s lightweight. It runs on diesel. There were already a lot of speed records with diesel engine and the Eco Speedster was able to beat 17 world records. So what? The engine is a standard diesel with modification turbo for 112 horsepower. This seems not very much these 112 horse powers but the small frontal area of the car allowed us to be very fast and to reach more than 250 kilometers an hour with these small 1.3 liter diesel engines.
Discovery Channel – Future Car – Season 1 – Episode 1 – 2/5
The so what is not that it earned an average speed of 140 miles per hour over a 24-hour run. Or even that it broke the previous record by about 42%. The so what is that it got 113 miles per gallon while doing it; your car doesn’t do that, yet. Coming up – is hydrogen the future of motorsports? A team of Dutch engineers are chasing a world record to prove that hydrogen cars will some day blow Formula One off the track. These high-performance Formula One cars attain speeds over 200 miles per hour. This go cart can only attain speeds just over 30 miles per hour. But this, not this, could change life as we know it. Working on the extremes of speed means questioning not only how fast it will go but what will propel us to those new limits. In Rotterdam they already know. It’s going to be clean, it’s going to be fast and it’s going to be [inaudible].
For right now the pinnacle of motor sport is Formula One and what we’re going to prove is that there is one step beyond one, and that is zero. So we’re the next level of motorsports. Hello I’m Godert van Hardenbroek and I’m Eiso Vaan- draeger. We’re from Formula Zero here in the Netherlands. We think that fuel cell is really amazing and we want to promote this technology. And we think racing is the perfect platform to do it. Want to show how cool hydrogen technology is? Then make a place for it in the most exciting sport – racing. And who says size matters? We built a go cart as a stepping stone towards a full size race class for fuel cell vehicles. “Eighty-four point six, this is a manual check up to be absolutely sure that there is no voltage leaking…” “Hi my name is Eelco. I’m the racing director for FZ together with Bo [inaudible], our test driver. We are preparing this car for the record tomorrow. And it’s going to be a race with Formula One cars and all different kinds of race cars in the center of Rotterdam. The next step will be the priming of the fuel cell. And we’re going to show that this is the fastest fuel cell in the planet. “Just check the boost cap.” We have on the right side and on the left side of our car this boost caps which really gives the car acceleration power.
Boost caps, also known as super capacitors, are an automotive shot of adrenalin. Like a battery they store and discharge energy, but unlike batteries they do this very, very fast. The result, rapid bursts of power which a race car can use much like a slingshot on demand. So you can absorb all your energy and then if you, around the corner you can release all your energy back into your motor and then you’re off again. Ten, 15 seconds it is fully loaded again. We want young people everywhere to say hey this is a cool idea and this is something I want to be a part of; this is my future. She’s already to take off tomorrow. Is this a she? And as they had thought, the city was over run with people and load, very fast race cars. “It’s very exciting and tense moment here at the [inaudible] racing event because it’s been raining all day and suddenly the sun’s come out.” Their moment seems to have arrived, not to outrun the race cars of today but to set the bar and give everyone that follows something to shoot for. The very first official speed record of its kind; the race cars of tomorrow. “We should be going in about half an hour.” “We’ve got the call from the safety marshals that the track is clear [and we run near the] first start line, [Ezzo], [Emio] to the other side, and then we go.”
For all the world’s greatest visionaries, altering perceptions and making history is a nearly impossible battle. At the last minute the race planner decided that it simply wasn’t time for such an incidental event. “We worked hard today to set it up, so we’re really disappointed. You know, the bigger the challenge the greater the victory. So this also counts for [inaudible]. We won’t stop.” They didn’t stop; neither did the progressive city of Rotterdam. Two months later, Formula Zero got a second chance. Years of preparation for 1/8 of a mile. But in those 11 seconds, something special happened that will reverberate for years to come. In 11 short seconds, a car the size of a go cart took a giant step towards the race cars of tomorrow, the hydrogen race cars of tomorrow. Thirty-eight miles per hour that will speed us into a hydrogen future. “We’ve been walking around with this idea for maybe two and half years and well we did it.” “Racing with hydrogen fuel is just as fun and just as sexy as racing with petro.” “Today was the first official record for this category of racing.” “It’s a challenge to the rest of the world, do better than us.”
You may never race in Formula One, but when you’re racing along in your own hydrogen car you’ll remember Formula Zero. “Bon journe, my name is [Andre Pinafinina].” The world’s greatest sports car designer has made a nest. Solutions are discovered at the extremes. Sometimes they’re fast and exotic, but sometimes they’re just simple, uniquely simple. This is [Lowy], he designs cars. He designs cars in the capital of…