I’ve written about the Forze fuel cell racecar several times now over the past 4 years. The last time I wrote about the Forze IV fuel cell go-kart it won the Formula Zero competition which was hosted in Hague, The Netherlands.
This time I would like to talk about the Forze V which stepped up in class and raced against cars with gasoline-powered internal combustion engines. Like past Forze vehicles the Forze V was built by students at Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands.
The car raced at the Formula Student competition at the Silverstone circuit, the first time ever a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle had ever competed. In a field of over 100 formula cars with internal combustion engines burning petroleum (and a few battery electric cars, too), the Forze V tied for 29th place. Now coming in with the top 1/3 of the cars is not bad for new technology.
The Forze V has a fuel cell that puts out 18kW or 24 HP. The energy from the fuel cell drives two electric motors. The Forze V also uses regenerative braking which gives the car a quick surge of power of 60kW or 80 HP.
The top speed of the Forze V formula racecar is only 75 mph but is comparable with the other vehicles. The Forze, though is a very quick vehicle as it can accelerate from 0 to 60mph in under 5 seconds. A full tank of compressed hydrogen gas (600 grams) allows the car to travel for 1 hour at full speed.
Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands has been building and showing its hydrogen fuel cell cars in different venues for the past 6 years. This head to head competition with gasoline powered cars shows not only the power, speed and low noise of hydrogen cars, but how environmentally friendly they are only emitting a small amount of water vapor even at race time.