In the quest for an eco-friendly and long-range transportation solution, a team of students from TU Delft has unveiled their groundbreaking creation – the Eco-Runner. Powered by hydrogen, this city car concept has recently set a remarkable Guinness World Record by covering an astonishing distance on full tanks of hydrogen fuel.
(Electric vehicles have made significant strides in battery technology, improving their per-charge range. However, for those seeking an even longer-lasting solution, the potential lies in green hydrogen. Understanding this potential, the brilliant minds behind the Eco-Runner team from TU Delft embarked on a mission to showcase the power of hydrogen by attempting a world record for distance.
The Eco-Runner project, an annual collaboration of students from various faculties, began its journey in 2005 with the introduction of the Eco 1. This three-wheeled wonder achieved a fuel efficiency milestone of 557 km/liter of petrol and secured a top position in the esteemed Shell Eco-marathon in 2006.
Building on their success, subsequent versions of the Eco-Runner harnessed the power of hydrogen as a fuel source. By utilizing a fuel cell, hydrogen underwent an electrochemical reaction, generating electric current with water as the only byproduct.
The result? An extraordinary fuel efficiency equivalent to 2,282 km/liter of petrol, setting a new benchmark in Dutch fuel-efficiency records.
With each passing year, the Eco-Runner underwent design refinements. In 2020, the team introduced an urban-class concept, reducing the vehicle’s length while retaining the three-wheel configuration. The following iteration included a fourth wheel and achieved a non-stop travel distance of 1,195.74 km on a single tank of hydrogen, lasting for an impressive 36 hours.
Looking to surpass previous achievements, the current team of 24 students took on the challenge of building a more resilient vehicle. They focused on enhancing aerodynamics and adopting weight-saving construction techniques. In May, their labor of love, the Eco-Runner XIII, was unveiled, showcasing their dedication to innovation and sustainability.
To test the mettle of their creation, the team headed to the Immendingen test track in Germany. On June 22, the Eco-Runner embarked on an extraordinary journey. at the crack of dawn Surpassing the speed of its predecessor, this hydrogen-powered marvel cruised at 45 km/h (28 mph) during the record-breaking run. On that fateful Sunday, the Eco-Runner shattered the previous record of 2,056 km.
Fuel still remained in the 300-bar tanks, and the Eco-Runner refused to rest. Finally, after an awe-inspiring journey, the vehicle came to a halt on June 26 at 8:26 am. The distance covered? An astonishing 2,488.45 km (1,546.18 miles), achieved using a mere 950 g of hydrogen. This extraordinary feat earned the team the prestigious Guinness World Record for “the greatest distance driven by a car on full tanks of hydrogen fuel (prototype).”
With their groundbreaking accomplishment, the Eco-Runner project continues to drive innovation and inspire future teams to strive for even greater milestones.
Source: Eco-Runner Team Delft