Hydrogen Car With Out-Of-This-World MPG

Max Boath - Contributing Writer
Posted on Wednesday 15th July 2009

Most car commercials on television these days boast their new lines of high-mileage automobiles, relying on consumers to be “wowed” by mile per gallon figures in the 30s and 40s. Some auto companies have come out with prototypes viewable at auto shows, such as Leromo’s LS that gets 157 mpg, or Volkswagen’s 235 mpg model. But there is little that can out-mile the SAHIMO hydrogen car, which gets the equivalent of 1,336 miles per gallon, according to Today’s Zaman.

A group of engineering students from the Sakarya University Advanced Technologies Implementation Group in Turkey recently completed the SAHIMO hydrogen car, which can roll 350 miles on a single liter of fuel, the paper recently reported. However, one liter of fuel is all the car can hold, and its incredible mileage is probably mostly due to its small size and weight of only 240 pounds. Made almost entirely out of ultra-light carbon fiber, the SAHIMO might not be the safest bet for traveling on highways next to SUVs; and at $170,000 to build, you can imagine what it might cost to buy it.

Still, the car has gained popularity in Turkey, and it has done well to boost Sakarya University’s and Turkey’s reputations. The car was completed in time to enter and place 3rd in Shell’s 26th Eco Marathon, which judges the most efficient vehicles in Europe. The team of 40 university students isn’t stopping there, though, the article said. The SAHIMO squad is planning on entering the more prestigious Global Green Challenge in Australia this October, in which nearly two dozen fuel efficient vehicles trek 3,000 kilometers across the Outback. To prepare for the race, the student team wants to boost the car’s fuel efficiency from 568 kilometers per liter to 1,000 kilometers on one liter.

Driving across a continent on three liters of fuel seems a bit ambitious, so the project is going to need ample funding for parts, testing, and tickets to the event. Success in the endeavor would make SAHIMO supporters proud of their investment, and the team is promising high achievements in the contest; the Sakarya University team is so sure it will have success that it has already begun negotiations with Turkish Aerospace Industries for developing a non-piloted aircraft for national defense. Still, even with proper funding it might be a bit longer before the 240-pound SAHIMO becomes street legal.

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