Wheels24

Swatch turning a hand to cars?

2012-03-26 08:23

One of the world's biggest watch companies, Swatch, wants to build a car that runs on hydrogen and oxygen.

Its chief executive and chairman, Nick Hayek, said in an interview with NZZ am Sonntag: "We already have a test car with a fuel cell. Liquid hydrogen and oxygen are used as fuel, producing very efficient combustion."

The management board of Belenos, the Swatch subsidiary building the vehicle, has already driven the prototype.

COST-EFFICIENT?

Hayek, son of Swatch's founder, admitted: "What we don't know is whether it would be cost-efficient to build."

“Liquid hydrogen and oxygen are used as fuel, producing very efficient combustion,” he said.

Hayek confirmed that the project was being overseen by subsidiary clean-energy company Belenos.

Belenos has reportedly been working on the vehicle with Swatch since 2008, and a concept version, known as a the ELV2, has already been revealed. The ELV2 is powered by a 40kW electric motor mated to a lithium-ion battery pack and charged by a hydrogen fuel cell.

The fuel-cell vehicle is not Swatch's first attempt at building a green car. In 1997 it teamed up with Daimler-Benz to build the two-seater Smart but the watch firm later sold its shares to Daimler-Benz.

Sapa - AFP