"It would've been easy to build a road car, run it on hydrogen, and say we've done it," says Dave King, Aston Martin's head of motorsport. "But we wanted to push the boundaries and run at least a full lap at a time at race speeds." The company found that, in terms of cost, packaging, and range, hydrogen could effectively substitute for batteries in hybrid cars, enabling useful emissions-free range before fossil fuels kick in. "I think it's a very feasible alternative for the future," says King.
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In May, Aston Martin's Rapide S completed the 24 Hours of Nurburgring endurance race while earning an unusual distinction: For more than 11 laps—about 182 miles—it didn't burn a drop of gas. Instead, it consumed 59 pounds of hydrogen, becoming the first hydrogen-powered car to compete in an event sanctioned by the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile).
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