This hydrogen motorcycle can do better than electric motorcycles on a key point

The prestigious MIT has embarked on the construction of a motorcycle running on hydrogen. A prototype has already seen the light of day, it has been driven on the circuit. And his plans are accessible to everyone!

While the battery electric motorcycle market is only in its infancy, it seems that the hydrogen alternative is being taken more and more seriously by many players. In fact, in recent weeks, we have already spoken to you about several projects, like the one presented by a German-Czech consortium, a prototype of which will see the light of day in 2025.

We know how divisive hydrogen vehicles are. Of course they only release water. But their performance is less good than a battery vehicle. And then the production of hydrogen poses a problem, very often it is “gray” hydrogen, the very manufacture of which is bad for the environment. Not to mention the power plants that use energy that is far from green, gas or coal… And when hydrogen is green, it is unfortunately very expensive!

So many arguments which do not really tip the scales towards a hydrogen future. And yet, even the prestigious MIT (Massachussetts Institute of Technology) believes in it. And has developed a prototype of a motorcycle running on a fuel cell!

An (almost) normal motorcycle

The project comes from the desire of a graduate student passionate about motorcycles and a professor of mechanical engineering who holds a chair in emerging technologies. Why a project focused on hydrogen? Because according to them, electric (battery) has its limits, notably the charging time. While filling up with hydrogen could be done as quickly as filling up with gasoline. In theory anyway.

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At first glance, the motorcycle does not seem that exceptional, it looks like a stripped-down motorcycle, but is nothing like the “turfu” motorcycle. However, gone is the thermal engine of this 1999 chassis, instead we find a fuel cell which uses hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity. Electricity which powers a battery which, after passing through a transformer to convert direct current into alternating current, is responsible for turning the electric motor. As for the tank which is used to store the hydrogen, it has been integrated under the saddle and remains very discreet.

Share plans

MIT’s hydrogen motorcycle is only at the prototype stage, but it’s already rolling. Which also encourages the team to go further by offering to make the plans of the bike accessible to everyone. An open source hydrogen motorcycle if you like, the goal being that the motorcycle, or at least its technologies, can be reproduced by anyone who wants to make their own hydrogen motorcycle. And by the way, a motorcycle manufacturer.

In this way, the MIT team proves that it is possible to manufacture hydrogen vehicles and makes it possible to move the lines because, as the instigator of the project reminds us, hydrogen suffers from the “egg or egg” syndrome. of the chicken”: if no one launches a hydrogen motorcycle (or vehicle), recharging infrastructures will not develop.

And if the infrastructure does not develop, no one wants to launch into hydrogen. It now remains to know the precise characteristics of the project, autonomy, power, recharging time, to know if this motorcycle, despite the constraints presented by hydrogen, can still be viable.

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