Feeds

Morgan shows 'light & slippery' fuel-cell car concept

Wood, leather and hydrogen - a fiery combo?

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

He's surely right in the case of Morgan customers, who tend to be well-off, motivated and possessed of off-street parking facilities. He could even be right in the case of ordinary motorists: Honda, the main proponents of fuel-cell motoring in the mainstream car world, are experimenting with various kinds of home hydrogen station. Originally, these were expected to use solar power to crack hydrogen cleanly from water, a method whose green credentials would have been unassailable.

However, even in sunny California this didn't seem to go well - the Japanese motor behemoth is now focusing more on the current industrial method of making hydrogen, that is by steam reforming with natural gas.

This latter concept is much less eco-friendly: in effect your Honda FCX or Morgan LifeCar has now become a carbon-emitting gas-powered vehicle, and not necessarily a very efficient one. The car itself may beat the low efficiency of internal combustion (Morgan claim 45 per cent for their fuel cell and low-nineties for the motors), but there are other losses in the reforming and compressing processes.

Morgan seem relatively unconcerned about the bigger issues, however.

"We don't know what method is best," says Parkin. With the LifeCar, Morgan are exploring ideas rather than hoping to mould the entire future of world motoring. So when might it be available to buy?

"We could be ready to sell in two to three years," says Parkin. Asked about price, he said: "I absolutely don't know... couldn't say. I've seen the figure £150,000 in the press, but that is completely made up. It would depend entirely on the level of interest."

Morgan hand builds every car, so it would be perfectly normal for them to make a hundred LifeCars or even fewer as a profit-making piece of business. The company has done such limited-edition models before, and in such cases prices have been well north of £100k. But if the LifeCar is made in larger numbers, it might well be cheaper. If this were GM talking, one might file the LifeCar under concepts-which-won't-get-built, like the Provoq: but there's really not that much difference between concept cars and production models at Morgan.

And if you'd prefer some other kind of concept, says Parkin, they might build it. The LifeCar that actually reaches the roads may be quite different from the way it seems now. Particularly when it comes to the post fossil fuel, ecological motoring world, Parkin himself suspects that there may intially be many different kinds of vehicle doing different jobs.

"After all," he says cheerfully, "everyone should have more than one car anyway, for different kinds of driving. That's just common sense."

That may be something of a niche viewpoint - but then Morgan are a niche company. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
Software bug caught Galileo sats in landslide, no escape from reality
Life had just begun, code error means Russia's gone and thrown it all away
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away
Interplanetary admins will back up data and get to work
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
prev story

Whitepapers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.