OSCar Automotive was recently awarded a grant from the BOC (Brine Oxygen Company) Foundation to develop a powertrain for a fuel cell powered urban vehicle. The grant will fund a two-year Hybran project aimed at demonstrating that it is practical to manufacture hydrogen fuel cell urban vehicles using existing fuel cell technology.
The Hybran concept car will be designed as a two-seat vehicle and have an electric motor in each wheel. Each of the motors will also serve as generators during the car’s regenerative braking process. The generators will charge ultra-capacitors to provide additional power needed for acceleration. This type of design, similar to that used by Honda FCX fuel cell vehicle, will allow the car to run on the energy consumption of a moped and have cruising speeds of around 50 mph.
OSCar Automotive, Oxford University, and Cranfield University are collaborating on the development of the Hybran concept car. OSCar is overseeing the design and development of the entire project, while the universities are each focused on crucial aspects of the engineering design. Oxford University’s Department of Engineering Sciences is developing the electric motors, and Cranfield University is working on the design and development of computer simulation to optimize the design and the vehicle control and energy management strategy.
Currently, both universities are in the process of working on the LIFECar project, a fuel cell-powered sports car, in collaboration with OSCar Automotive, BOC, the Morgan Motor Company, and QinetiQ.