May 26, 2024

Fuel cell EVs were primarily about sustainability until now. It will take a long time before mainstream hydrogen vehicles are available, unlike battery EVs.

The EVRh, which was recently revealed at the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle Show, is a high-performance car architecture that’s designed to showcase FCEVs.

Fuel cells can deliver a steady stream of electricity, but they are not as good at providing the bursts needed to accelerate. FCEVs use a buffer battery that is charged by the fuel-cell stack to power their motors. EVRh, a parallel hybrid vehicle, can use both the battery and fuel cell stack to control the engines.

WAE refers to the power unit as an “FCEV battery pack” in recognition of its integrated design. It is best to think of this as a hydrogen-electric engine without moving parts. The centrally mounted power unit and hydrogen tank give the car a low center of gravity and a balanced front-to-rear weight distribution.

The IVR has a lightweight composite body with a rigid tub that can support roadsters, Targas, and fixed-roof coups. It is available with rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive and with different motor configurations. The liquid-cooled “power unit” can provide a maximum of 430kW (584hp) of energy to motors. Fuel cells will supply 120kW charge power.

The entire package weighs less than 1,900kg, and it can reach 100kph within less than 2.5 seconds. WAE claims the car can turn a Nurburgring circuit in under 7 minutes and 20 seconds. The range of the vehicle is impressive at 599km despite its high performance.

The EVRh concept is similar to the battery-electric EVR that WAE unveiled in September 2022. The EVRh was also designed to be a turnkey platform that can be used by both established and start-up manufacturers. The 85kWh battery pack produces a huge peak power output of 1,650kW (2.242hp). It is a tad heavier than its hydrogen-powered sister at 1,800kg. However, it can reach 100kph within less than 2 seconds and have a top speed of more than 399kph.

The WAE track record in battery technology is what gives both architectures their uniqueness. It has been supplying batteries to Formula E and Extreme E since 2014.

It was revealed earlier in 2023 that the Cell2Pack Battery is designed to be structurally integrated into the chassis and provide a turnkey solution to low-volume producers.

The Scalable Battery Module is also on display, aimed again at niche and low-volume manufacturers. This ‘toolkit technology’ is designed to eliminate the need to replicate electronics within a battery. It makes it easier and faster to create bespoke batteries.

Linger in Champagne

Book a trainline ticket for the high-speed TGV to Reims (45 minutes away, with WiFi on board). Reims is a “Top French City” in France, which means it’s a shining example of joie-de-vivre. Rent a car at the Reims station (book in advance for automatic transmission rentals). If you don’t have a car, it’s difficult to travel around the Champagne region. Taxis are also not readily available. You can hire iGoVE to chauffeur you around Champagne in a Tesla if you don’t feel like driving (because of the booze, obviously). Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site Reims Cathedral. From 1027 to 1825, French kings were crowned in this cathedral.

The Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa is your home base in Champagne. It’s a 49-room property that opened just this summer. Royal Champagne, located in Champillon, is almost evenly split between Reims and Epernay. This is where you will find many of the tours and tastings. You’ll be unable to leave the Relais & Chateaux Hotel, which is so comfortable. The sommelier will help you choose from 200 bottles of champagne at the hotel bar. You can also enjoy the view of rolling vineyards in the Montagne de Reims while relaxing by the outdoor pool. Royal Champagne hired Jean-Denis Rieubland to oversee the hotel’s culinary program, which includes Le Royal, a fine-dining restaurant decorated with portraits depicting the most significant women in Napoleon Bonaparte’s life.


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