Viritech unveiled its hydrogen fuel cell powertrain technology in the form of the Pininfarina-styled Apricale, which the company says is the world’s first zero-emission hypercar achieving weight parity with petrol-engine competitors.

H2 View understands the Apricale’s key technologies including the drivetrain, and storage vessels have already been validated. Its experimental prototype 1 (XP1) is anticipated to provide the final sign-off for the powertrain, undergoing 100,000km of testing.

XP1 will overlap with a production prototype intended to validate the entire car during 2023, with Viritech aiming to commence customer deliveries in early 2024.

Matt Faulks, Chief Technical Officer at Viritech, said, “Hydrogen fuel cells have, until now, been used as range extenders for powertrains with batteries at their heart. We’ve essentially turned that approach on its head, developing a powertrain around multi-hundred kW fuel cell system supported by a lightweight but highly efficient battery.

“This delivers hypercar performance for Apricale, but at less than half the weight of typical BEV hypercars. Not only does this reduction in weight transform Apricale’s driving dynamics, but our reduced reliance on batteries means less demand on rare earth minerals.”

Weighing in at 1,000kg, the Apricale is said to combine the agility of the top petrol hypercars with an instant response of an electric motor, by utilising fuel cells to reduce battery weight.

Viritech have incorporated its patent pending Graph-ProTM technology using lightweight composites and a graphene-enabled resin system, allowing hydrogen to be stored at 700bar with significant weight reduction to conventional storage systems.

Faulks explained, ’Apricale has enabled us to completely reassess the benefits that different energy vectors offer. Until now, engineering choices have been finite and compromised, but adding hydrogen into the mix offers a whole new array of capabilities that we have aimed to optimise with a new approach to FCEV.

“Apricale is going to be spectacularly exciting for its owners and we truly hope marks a new chapter in powertrain technology. It is great to see that vision realised at Goodwood today.’

Timothy Lyons, founder of Viritech, commented, “Viritech is focused on becoming the world’s leading developer of hydrogen powertrain solutions and the Apricale, with its requirement to optimise weight, space and performance, provided us the perfect development platform for our core powertrain technologies, which have also been designed for broad application in the coming age of sustainable transportation.”

North American Hydrogen Summit  

H2 View is taking its events platform to America’s original clean hydrogen hub of California. Together with the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP), we will stage our North American Hydrogen Summit in San Francisco on July 14-15.

As our summit theme Building Bridges: Hydrogen hubs and investment suggests, the event will explore the $8bn of funding announced to create at least four regional hydrogen hubs in the US. These hubs will turbo-charge the nation’s progress toward heavy trucking and industrial sectors that run without producing carbon pollution – and they may just provide the path forward to a hydrogen-fuelled future.

With California and Texas vying to be America’s hydrogen capital today, where are the hubs of tomorrow? Further still, what can other states, and countries, learn from California’s success story? And how can we build bridges to a successful flow of international investment?

If you are a member of the CaFCP, be sure to grab your ticket at a discounted rate with a code that can be provided to you by the events team.

Full information about this event including attendance and sponsorship packages can be found here.