California-based tech company Hyperion has unveiled the Hyperion XP-1, a hydrogen fuel cell-powered hypercar with an advertised 1,000 mile range and a top speed of 221 mph. It can launch from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.2 seconds.
Those are without a doubt some impressive specs — but its main purpose isn’t to take on Tesla in a head-to-head. It’s to generate interest for hydrogen power, according to the company.
“There are enough car companies,” CEO Angelo Kafantaris told Car and Driver. “We’re an energy company that’s building this car to tell a story.”
Instead of relying on extremely heavy lithium ion battery packs, the XP-1 generates power from large tanks of hydrogen driving two powerful electric motors. Lower curb weight, more power and longer range.
Apart from the way it is currently generated — about 95 percent of all hydrogen is produce from steam reforming of natural gas — hydrogen is also extremely environmentally friendly to use as a fuel source. The byproducts are literally just water and not greenhouse gases.
Luckily, there are many ways to generate hydrogen as a fuel source. “You can make hydrogen from excess grid solar power,” Kafantaris claimed. “Creating hydrogen is greener than making batteries.”
Unfortunately, refueling hydrogen cars in 2020 is extremely difficult to do. In 2018, there were only 39 publicly available hydrogen stations for fueling fuel cell vehicles in the United States.
Hyperion wants to change that. The company claims it has plans to build out its own hydrogen-fueling station network similar to Tesla’s Supercharger network.
The XP-1 will be expensive. Production will start in 2022 and only 300 of them will ever be made.
READ MORE: The Hyperion XP-1 hypercar wants to give hydrogen a halo effect [Ars Technica]
More on hydrogen cars: A Brief History of Elon Musk’s Festering Feud With Rival Automaker Nikola