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The Lifecar was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show this week and will showcase a number of environmentally-friendly technologies to a wider audience than might previously have encountered them.

The only tailpipe emission from the vehicle is water and the hydrogen cell is used to channel electricity to four super efficient electric motors.

The car is expected to be able to accelerate from 0-60mph in under seven seconds and will have a top speed approaching 100mph and will be able to cover around 250 miles between recharges.

Cranfield University has developed management systems for the vehicle, hydrogen, fuel cell, motors and the bank of ultracapacitors which fufill the traditional role of batteries, allowing designers to significantly cut down on weight.

Like traditional Morgan cars, the vehicle will be built around a wooden chasis, lowering the embodied energy of the finished car.

While other manufacturers have unveiled fuel cell-powered concept cars, these have tended to be conversions of existing models rather than designed from the drawing board up to be hydrogen powered.

Creating the Lifecar prototype has taken three years and £1.9m and has been part-funded by the British government.

Sam Bond

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