Feeds

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

Wood, leather and hydrogen - a fiery combo?

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
Volcanic eruption in Iceland triggers CODE RED aviation warning
Lava-spitting Bárðarbunga prompts action from Met Office
NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away
Interplanetary admins will back up data and get to work
Major cyber attack hits Norwegian oil industry
Statoil, the gas giant behind the Scandie social miracle, targeted
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
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.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?