Beeld: Eco-Runner
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  • Eco-Runner Team Delft created the world’s fastest and most efficient hydrogen vehicle, covering 2,488.5 km without refuelling and breaking a Guinness World Record;
  • The lightweight, UFO-like design converts hydrogen into electric energy, emitting only water vapour and heat.

The Eco-Runner Team Delft, a group of students from TU Delft, has created the world’s fastest and most efficient hydrogen vehicle, breaking a Guinness World Record. The team covered an impressive 2,488.5 km without refuelling on a German circuit, surpassing the previous record of 2,055.7 km. Their Eco-Runner hydrogen vehicle converts hydrogen into electric energy, producing only water vapour and heat instead of harmful gases. The students spent a year working on the lightweight, UFO-like design to demonstrate the potential of sustainable transportation to the industry. Despite limited hydrogen refuelling options in the Netherlands, the team hopes their success will encourage more people to adopt this eco-friendly fuel.

A Showcase of Sustainable Technology

TU Delft students have a history of using technology to create a more sustainable world. Their previous projects include the hyperloop, a hydrogen-powered aircraft, and solar-powered vehicles. The university’s student teams have been working on hydrogen vehicles for many years, with Eco-Runner Team Delft’s recent record-breaking success as a testament to their dedication and innovation.

The Eco-runner team.

Behind the Record-breaking Eco-Runner

According to TU Delft, the team members drove day and night for 71.5 hours to break the previous record, covering 2,488.4 km on less than 1 kg of hydrogen. The students took turns driving the Eco-Runner in two-hour shifts. The rest of the team was divided into shifts as well, analysing data, following the vehicle in a Toyota Mirai hydrogen car, and maintaining constant communication with all team members. Throughout the weekend, team members were on standby to perform small repairs, change tyres, and provide support as needed.

Efficiency and Design

The Eco-Runner’s design focuses on efficiency, with hydrogen converted into electric energy, significantly reducing its environmental impact. The vehicle emits only water vapour and heat instead of harmful gases. The students ensured that the UFO-like vehicle remained lightweight, contributing to its efficiency. The record-breaking achievement is not only an outstanding milestone in sustainable driving but also an official Guinness World Record.

Pushing for a Hydrogen-Powered Future

While hydrogen-powered personal vehicles are already available in the Netherlands, there are limited refuelling options. The Eco-Runner team hopes that their record-breaking success will inspire a shift towards hydrogen as a primary fuel source for transportation. The students spent a year working on the vehicle to demonstrate to the transport sector that sustainability is an achievable goal.

Consumer Applications and the Future of Hydrogen Mobility

Although the Eco-Runner’s design, with its single-passenger capacity, may not immediately seem practical for consumer use, the students aim to prove the viability of hydrogen as a sustainable fuel source. By showcasing the efficiency and potential range of hydrogen-powered vehicles, the team hopes to encourage the adoption of hydrogen in the mobility sector, alongside the growing popularity of battery-electric vehicles.