WAE reveals rolling chassis with hydrogen power


WAE Technologies (WAE) has unveiled an ultra-high-performance hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle platform, developed to demonstrate the potential of hydrogen (H2) powered powertrain systems through implementation in a high-performance vehicle application.

Produced by WAE in Oxfordshire, UK, the platform, named EVRh, follows the reveal one year ago of WAE’s fully electric derivative, the EVR rolling chassis concept. The new parallel-hybrid EVRh version features an H2 fuel cell system, which produces electricity by harnessing a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen in a fuel cell stack.

The hydrogen fuel tank and battery system are located in the middle of the EVRh composite structure

EVRh features a lightweight composite structure, with the H2 fuel tank and battery system situated in the middle of the vehicle in order to optimise the centre of gravity. The platform’s design flexibility enables manufacturers to create multiple configurations, from a track-only vehicle with a maximised power-to-weight ratio, to roadgoing models of both open-roof Targa and fixed-roof GT cars. This is made possible by the architecture’s central tub, which has been designed to allow for such flexibility – including open roof design – while still featuring the latest performance technology such as active aerodynamics.

The EVRh can accommodate targa-roofed bodies

WAE says the liquid-cooled FCEV battery pack is capable of discharging 430kW of power. Combined with the 120kW hydrogen fuel cell, this means the EVRh has a total output of 550kW, enabling a sub-2.5 second 0-100km/h acceleration time. All-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive layouts are supported through multiple e-motor configurations. and WAE’s engineers estimate that the track version could lap the Nürburgring circuit in under 7mins 20secs.

The figures sound compelling, but perhaps the bigger selling point is that the hydrogen hybrid powertrain can enable an accelerated route to market for automotive customers looking to move into hydrogen power, as the entire engineering and assembly of the powertrain can be completed by WAE, reducing development time and cost. OEM and Tier 1 customers can also incorporate new motor and battery technologies into the powertrain of the EVRh rolling chassis.

Rear view of the EVRh structure

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Adam divides his time as an editor between the worlds of aviation and motoring. These worlds may seem a little diverse today, but autonomous technology and future urban mobility is bringing them ever-closer. Adam is also chairman of the Vehicle Dynamics International Awards.

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