TU Delft students set new world record with their hydrogen car
Students from the Technical University of Delft established a new world record last weekend. They succeeded in driving a hydrogen car 2,488.4 kilometers in three days without refueling. Remarkably, this feat was accomplished using just one kilogram of hydrogen. The Guinness World Records officially recognized this achievement, marking it the longest distance ever covered by a hydrogen-powered vehicle without refueling.
The car was designed by the Eco-Runner Team Delft from the Delft University of Technology. This team, composed of 24 students, dedicated an entire year to designing, constructing, testing, and racing what they hoped would be the world's most efficient hydrogen-powered vehicle.
The vehicle was first introduced to the public in May 2023. It is an extremely compact, lightweight, and aerodynamically efficient car powered by hydrogen. This vehicle converts hydrogen into electrical energy, with water vapor and heat as the only byproducts.
To minimize the car's weight, the students opted to construct certain parts typically made from steel using carbon fiber instead. Consequently, the car weighs in at just 72 kilograms and can reach top speeds of 45 kilometers per hour.
According to their press release, the prior record was 2,055.7 kilometers. To break this record, 11 drivers took turns navigating the same five-kilometer lap in two-hour shifts, totaling 71.5 hours of day and night driving. "It could get pretty boring, but we worked as a team to keep ourselves busy," TU Delft student Kaatje Bout told NH Nieuws. The event took place on a circuit in southern Germany.
Last weekend, team members stayed on standby, prepared to conduct minor repairs, change tires, and provide additional support. Due to the strict rules of the Guinness World Records, which supervised the record attempt, parts could not be replaced but they could be repaired.
In the end, the students covered a distance of 2,488.4 kilometers and consumed less than one kilogram of hydrogen. "Ten months ago, we had nothing, and now we hold a record!" Kaatje exclaimed, who pointed out that it would not have been possible without the team spirit of all those who participated in the project.
The car was specifically designed with the record attempt in mind. However, the project's goals extended beyond this; the team aimed to highlight the potential of hydrogen power and inspire a shift toward sustainability and efficiency within the transportation industry. "Hydrogen will play a crucial role in a sustainable future, something we all must contribute," the students stated.
According to the students, their vehicle should be seen as a cornerstone for the future of transportation. In a virtual reality presentation, they unveiled their vision for 2050, stating, "All cars will be smaller, lighter, and more aerodynamic." They predict a shift towards "shared mobility," suggesting that people will collectively approach transportation in a more sustainable and efficient way.