Alpine Looks to Hydrogen ICE Hybrid for AlpenGlow Concept

French premium sportscar maker, Alpine, suggested a hybrid hydrogen ICE powertrain may become its choice for the track focused concept sportster it will reveal.

The Alpine Alpenglow concept is billed as representing a future where racing cars, as well as the upcoming generations of Alpine products, release clean emissions. “Green” hydrogen is one of the solutions that the brand is considering for sustainable mobility. A hydrogen-powered engine emits practically nothing but steam during combustion.

This means the brand is aligning itself with moves notably from several Japanese automakers recognizing that BEVs cannot fulfil all the transportation demands of both consumers and businesses. They are promoting ICE hydrogen burning powertrains as a rapid way of advancing the infrastructure necessary to, ultimately, power the rise of hydrogen fuel cell technology.

Alpenglow is said to be Alpine’s first step on the path to sustainable solutions for clean mobility. Mobility will combine carbon-neutral systems, tapping into the natural complementarity between vehicles running on BEVs, vehicles running on a fuel cell and vehicles with hybrid internal-combustion engines using a sustainable fuel, possibly green hydrogen.

Alpine says a hybrid hydrogen internal-combustion engine is environmentally-friendly and comes with the inimitable driving pleasure and character that a powertrain using a series of controlled explosions can provide. With its two cylindrical hydrogen tanks at 700 bar, Alpenglow is as lightweight as the rest of the brand’s cars and treats drivers to an ultimate race car experience as well as clean emissions.

To develop this technology, Alpine is using expertise from the Renault Group entities that have built a full ecosystem revolving around hydrogen, which includes HYVIA. Alongside the Formula 1 Grand Prix in France last July, the BWT Alpine F1 Team and HYVIA announced plans to enter into a partnership to invest together in state-of-the-art technologies and the transition to sustainable mobility.

As part of the brand’s ongoing lightweighting program, Alpenglow is deploying all the usual features plus using recycled carbon fiber in many of its parts. It is all sourced from recycling streams.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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