‘It’s a no-brainer’: are hydrogen cars of the future?
By: Oliver Franklin-Wallis
Author makes a question as a title, which means author doubt hydrogen technology and his direction of development. Spowers is a hydrogen-fueled car engineer. Facing author’s question, Spowers still believe that his work is good and will bring benefit for the car industry in the future. As he said in the end of article “people are eventually going to understand”.
Spowers’s career begin at running a Formula Three racing team. Base on that background, most motorsport’s sponsors are tobacco companies. So, there is plenty of tobacco advertising on the car. Spowers believe this is killing people, and need be banned. This causes Spowers’s end his sportscar career. Then he begins developing hydrogen-fueled car. Spowers runs “a small hydrogen-fueled car company in Llandrindod Wells, in mid-Wales.” and he have been the founder and chief engineer of this company which called Riversimple. He produced his first hydrogen fuel car: Rasa in 2016. A two-seater car that drove by hydrogen fuel cell. The chassis is made from carbon fiber. The four wheels get power from a bank of extremely fast-charging batteries. And when the car was running, the energy recovery system also operates at the same time. This can capture most waste energy. Spowers also work with Classic Carmaker Morgen, and construct a new car for LIFECar. They try to make this car become a zero-emissions sport car. Spowers through a grueling experience. Finally, he gets 2m grant from Welsh for developing the Rasa, and 2m grant from the EU for testing the car.
From this part, author formally introduction hydrogen researcher Spowers. In the author view, he does not give a lot of professional word to introduce the car and hydrogen at the beginning. His successful strategy is listing specific data and compare to a normal car. Such as “This car only 580kg weight. This weight only as less than half a Volkswagen Golf and a quarter of a Tesla Model S”; The car as fast as Ford Fiesta which can do 0-60 mph in 10 seconds, and can run around 300 miles; In his 300 miles range, it only cost 1.5kg of hydrogen; LIFECar can be riches 90mph and car only weighted 650kg. This writing style makes reader that easy image and understand goods or technology, and believes it. From this part, reader begins understanding hydrogen car and a part of Spowers background.
For car industry, the most comment way to alternative to the combustion engine is using lithium-ion batteries. Tesla’s Elon Musk don’t believe hydrogen fuel is not the right future. But Spowers think lithium-ion batteries are more consumer resources than hydrogen and lithium-ion cars are too heavy. Governments need to build lots of the charging station, and most countries use coal to generate electricity. This indirectly produced more carbon dioxide. In the 2017, some companies consider hydrogen may become a new future for the car, such...