The Nios concept is a fully working prototype of a hydrogen-fueled
city car. It was developed by a team of students and professors
at three German universities and colleges; The University
of Art and Design in Halle, the Technical University Chemnitz,
and the College of Further Education in Merseburg.
The vehicle took part in the 2010 Shell Eco Marathon in
the "Urban Concept Cars" category where it took
home the Autodesk Design Award for its outstanding design
and ergonomics. As an entrant in the Urban Concept
Cars class, the Nios had to be viable for use in the
real-world. As such it has room for two occupants seated
in a tandem arrangement. There's also a decent amount
of space for luggage and personal belongings, and the
stylish interior has been designed to be light, airy and
comfortable, while also not adding too much excess weight
to the vehicle.
The Nios is based around a wooden frame which is left
beautifully exposed and forming a gentle oval shape around
the passenger compartment. But the wooden structure isn't
just there for looks, it also provides roll-over protection
for the occupants, and a secure base for the suspension
and powertrain components. Total weight for the frame
work is a mere 18.5 kgs (40.8 lbs), and with a total vehicle
weight of just 400 kgs (882 lbs), the Nios offers unbelievably
frugal fuel consumption.
The DC electric motor of the vehicle is powered by an
advanced hydrogen fuel cell system developed at the Technical
University of Chemnitz. With this setup the Nios can travel
around 500 Km (310 miles) on a single litre (0.26 gallons)
Thanks to Alex Bart for the information and images.