Forget Lego and Meccano, the latest techie toy for surreptitiously educating unsuspecting children has arrived - a mini hydrogen fuel-cell-powered car.
Forget Lego and Meccano, the latest techie toy for surreptitiously educating unsuspecting children has arrived - a mini hydrogen fuel-cell-powered car, complete with its own filling station.
The H-racer, which measures just 16cm by 7cm, has been launched by Chinese company Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies, Shanghai, with the aim of giving fuel-cell technology more prominence. The toy gets its racing power from hydrogen produced externally - in the mini fuel station - which then fills a balloon inside the car. The hydrogen is produced electrochemically when a small solar-powered current passes through water in the fuel station. An on-board fuel cell uses the balloon-tank full of hydrogen to power the H-racer for up to four minutes of clean, pollution-free driving, claims Horizon.
’I like the look of the car and would be happy to play with one,’ said Nigel Brandon, director of Ceres Power, a UK fuel cell company.
Vroom-vrooming aside, the H-racer has a serious message, Brandon said. ’Many auto makers and fuel companies are attempting to develop a hydrogen powered car,’ he said, although the H-racer does not use high-pressure hydrogen, currently favoured by full-size-vehicle manufacturers.
’But it is important to point out the issues associated with hydrogen production and storage to help people understand we are still a long way from the widespread availability of hydrogen powered passenger vehicles,’ he added.