The hydrogen fuel cell car, which runs solely on water and chuffs out pure oxygen, has been the holy grail of environmentalists and the motor industry for years, and thanks to Horizon and PopCo, we can finally all drive one – albeit in miniature form.
The H2Go is a remote control car that runs on hydrogen from its own refuelling station and is controlled by a handset that recharges from a solar panel. In your face, Duracell!
The groundbreaking green machine is the result of a happy collaboration between Horizon, a company that develops alternative energy sources for transport and commerce, and toy genius Trevor Hayes at PopCo.
The organically aerodynamic styling, meanwhile, comes courtesy of world-famous designer Professor Luigi Colani. This makes it sound like a bit of a science project, but the H2Go is a polished product and all set to race of the shelves this Christmas.
This is very much an educational toy and any kid that grows up with one of these is going to have a useful early grasp of alternative energy mechanics.
The principal is quite simple – the refuelling station splits water into hydrogen and oxygen by electrolysis. The current for this is derived from the solar panel, but an AC adaptor is included if there’s no sunshine.
It takes only a few minutes to collect enough bubbles of hydrogen in the tank to fill up the car’s internal hydrogen supply. It’s a case of attaching a pipe with a one-way valve and pressing the pump once to fill the little balloon. And in just a few seconds, H2Go is charged and ready to rumble.
The H2Go isn’t going to break any land speed records, but it’s nippy enough on short carpet or a hard surface to average 4mph. And then there’s the turbo. Hit this button for a power injection and it’ll give you an extra burst of speed for a short interval. It’s just what you need for overtaking the matching white H2Go, which will also be available soon.
The car itself is very light to maximise its efficiency and the big transparent windscreen means you can see exactly what’s going on inside as the hydrogen balloon releases its gas over the miniature fuel cell in a chemical reaction that’s pretty much the opposite of what’s going on in the refuelling station. The only bi-products from each process are pure water and oxygen.
It might be being marketed as a toy, but H2Go is an eye-opening science lesson. Now all we need is for Horizon and PopCo to scale it up so we can all commute to work in one.
Contact: The Science Museum