Hydrogen Cars Go Hybrid

For a while, the most talked about production model car was the Toyota Mirai. It’s a good design, and as technically proficient as we’ve come to expect from Toyota, but there’s a catch. It’s ugly. I mean, it’s really, insanely ugly. It makes the Pontiac Aztec look downright stylish, and if you’ve ever seen an Aztec, then you know that’s really saying something.

No doubt, it’s a good car. Slated for mass production next fall, it is reported to get 300 miles per tank, and as a mid-sized sedan, makes for a solid entrant into the field of HHO vehicles. Toyota’s model does raise one very frustrating question, however. Why is it that vehicles powered by alternate energy technologies get saddled with unattractive designs? It’s almost as though the big automakers of the world are consciously trying to turn the public interest in these technologies negative.

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Audi To The Rescue

Thankfully, Audi has just thrown their hat into the ring with their A-7 Sportback design. In addition to being sleek and stylish, it actually performs slightly better than Toyota’s model, getting 310.7 miles on a single fill up, and as ever with HHO vehicles, producing nothing but pure water as exhaust.

Its fuel cell is actually comprised of more than 300 individual cells, all of which are stored where the engine compartment would be in a gas powered vehicle. The HHO technology utilized by the design isn’t new or groundbreaking, at least, no more so than HHO technology in general, but here’s the twist: the car is also a plug-in electric hybrid. Not only does the rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack get 31 miles to a charge, making it perfect for short, in-town hops, but it also uses regenerative braking technology to help recharge the batteries.

Is This The Future Of HHO?

There are a number of exciting alternate energy technologies currently under development. No one can say, at this point, which of these will wind up going mainstream, but the A-7 offers an exciting glimpse into the possibilities. By combining HHO technology with plug-in electric technology, Audi has strengthened both, and has done so in a gloriously stylish manner.

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