H-racer Aston: minute for gas

2013-05-17 13:38

Earlier in 2013 we reported that Aston Martin was preparing to take on the Nurburgring 24 Hours over May 19/20 with the world's first hybrid hydrogen-powered race car.

But what about refuelling the Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S during the race? Replenishing the mobile deep freeze that is a normal hydrogen car's fuel tank is a cumbersome business that can take some time but Aston has a truck that can do the job in less than a minute.


The Linde Group has developed a mobile hydrogen refuelling unit for locations without a stationary hydrogen infrastructure. The 14m tractor/trailer called TrailH2-gas is equipped with two high-pressure couplings for gaseous hydrogen (CGH2) and stores the gas at 300 and 450 bar in cylinder packs.

The TrailH2-gas can further compress the hydrogen on-board to as much as 700 bar, depending on requirements. For the race, Linde says a pressure of 350 bar will be needed.

During the race the usual automated refuelling procedure, which takes several minutes, will be replaced by a manual, supervised refill, reducing that to less than 60 seconds.


The hybrid Rapide S will compete in an experimental class (E1-XP) and will be refuelled with 3.5kg of hydrogen as well as petrol. It's powered by a twin-turbo, six-litre V12 capable of running on petrol, hydrogen or a blend of both. In hydrogen mode the car's exhaust emits only water.

The Hybrid Hydrogen system comprises a hydrogen fuel-rail, storage tanks and an engine management system. Safety is paramount and the system includes four ultra-strong carbon-fibre tanks for the liquid hydrogen stord at 350 bar pressure.

The race car is based on the new Rapide S four-door sports car which arrived in Aston Martin showrooms worldwide in April 2013.

  • Vickers Vermeulen - 2013-05-19 16:48

    Mmm wasn't hydrogen the stuff that made the Hindenburg go kaboom? A prang in one of these might just be rather spectacular

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