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Pininfarina's eco race car runs on hydrogen (pictures)

Italian design company Pininfarina shows off an eco-friendly race car, with a hydrogen fuel cell stack to power its electric drive motors, at the Geneva auto show.

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Wayne Cunningham
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The HT Speed represents a collaboration between Italian design company Pininfarina and GreenGT, a Swiss company developing hydrogen fuel cell drive systems with high levels of performance.

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As a fuel cell-powered car, the HT Speed uses electric drive motors that get electricity from a fuel cell fed from a hydrogen tank.

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Long and low, the H2 Speed resembles a Le Mans racing car.

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With 6.1 kilograms (13.4 pounds) of hydrogen stored onboard, the H2 Speed comes to a total weight of 3,130 pounds. Refueling the hydrogen tanks takes 3 minutes, according to Pininfarina.

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With two electric motors driving the wheels, making about 500 horsepower, the H2 Speed does away with a standard driveshaft or transmission.

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The fuel cell process combines hydrogen and oxygen, generating electricity and releasing water as the waste product.

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The carbon fiber structure of the H2 Speed mimics that of racing cars, and Pininfarina describes it as "halfway between a racing prototype and a production supercar".

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Water emitted from hydrogen fuel cell cars typically emerges in small quantities in vaporous form.

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Beyond the hydrogen fuel cell system, the H2 Speed underwent aerodynamic development to help its performance.

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Pininfarina claims the car has already undergone track testing.

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Air sucked in through the intakes feeds the fuel cell stack.

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An onboard compressor, part of the fuel cell system, makes the only noticeable sound from the drive system.

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With its fuel cell drive system, the H2 Speed makes it to 62 mph in 3.5 seconds and hits a top speed of 186 mph.

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