Morgan Motor Company, the UK maker of the classic Morgan car, is building a hydrogen fuel-cell car based on its Aero 8 (shown at right). Partly supported by a £1.9 million (US$3.47 million; €2.84 million) grant from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Morgan LIFEcar will use a fuel cell developed by Qinetiq, while BOC produces the hydrogen refuelling plant.
Morgan also reportedly plans to use ultracapacitors in its energy storage solution. The project is currently targeting a prototype in two to three years. (Times)
We accept the problems of climate change and think that it would be irresponsible for any manufacturer not to act.—Charles Morgan, LIFEcar project director
Morgan customers might be well suited in temperament to waiting to purchasing a unique hydrogen roadster.
Morgan launched its 150-mph Aero 8 in March 2000. To date, the company has sold 300 units, and has just had its latest version approved for the US market.
The waiting list for any Morgan in the UK is presently around 12 months—the shortest delivery time since the 1970s, according to the company.
The conventional Aero 8 uses an aluminum body and chassis, and is powered by a BMW 4.4-liter V-8 delivering 333 hp (248 Nm) and 331 lb-ft (449 Nm) of torque. The Aero 8 weighs 1,145 kg, and accelerates from 0–100kph in under 4.5 seconds.
The car consumes 10.9 liters of fuel per 100km (21.6 mpg US) on a combined drive cycle, and emits 264 g CO2/km.
It will be interesting to see what sort of performance targets Morgan will use with the fuel-cell LIFEcar. More details as they come.