Hundreds of auto enthusiasts gathered in downtown Fort Collins in September to explore a multitude of motor vehicles at Nelsen’s Auto Show. There were muscle cars, classics, motorcycles and more – but with three hydrogen cylinders placed in the back and a high voltage battery box stored in the middle seat, one car in particular was very different from the rest.
Colorado State University’s Vehicle Innovation Team (VIT) showed off their unique hydrogen fuel cell plug-in car, H2eV, to many curious car lovers. Some people would walk by, utterly confused by the three large cylindrical vessels seen from the open trunk, and find themselves compelled to ask what exactly they were. Others were a little more knowledgeable, asking questions about the hydrogen tanks’ pressure levels and how the engineers managed to convert the car entirely to a hydrogen fuel cell hybrid system.
The engineers on the team gladly responded to these inquiries while walking the visitors through the car and its features.
The car, which includes three pressurized hydrogen fuel cylinders, a lithium-ion battery, and an electric motor, has economic and environmental benefits that many of these Coloradans found intriguing. Not purchasing gasoline, decreasing the ecological footprint, and still being able to drive over 200 miles on one charge makes for a pretty sweet ride.
Riding into Year Three of the national EcoCAR 2 competition, it’s clear that CSU is already making an impression.