In the minds of the futurists, hydrogen is the way forward

For futuristic designers, hydrogen power is considered the way forwards. And it should be burned, not used to power an electric motor.

Hydra. - Anton Guzhov

Hydrogen power is becoming a reality. While the method for deploying it is not singularised yet, its development is continuing. But, that does not mean it is out of reach for futuristic designers.

When it comes to designing a motorcycle with a futuristic look, a futuristic method of propulsion is also generally desired. That is why in sci-fi films all the cars and bikes and spaceships are electric. 

In the real world, hydrogen power is becoming more prevalent but still remains something to look at for 2030 rather than 03/02/23. While major manufacturers like Yamaha, Kawasaki, Honda and more are trying to develop hydrogen technology for the future, conceptual designers are using hydrogen as the hypothetical fuel for their hypothetical vehicles.

One such designer is Anton Guzhov, whose Hydra concept uses a hydrogen powertrain.

This is different to the hydrogen fuel cell solution that TVS Motors, for example, is planning to use in one of its upcoming scooters. Instead, the hydrogen powertrain of the hydra is a more ‘traditional’ view of what is the most abundant resource in our universe: combustion. 

But, despite the ‘traditional’ solution, the futurism of the Hydra is clear in its design. 

It is all very square. The handlebars are parallel to the road surface, and the foot pegs are about 18-feet long. It would fit well in an open-world sci-fi videogame, for example.

And its futurism is well-placed. Hydrogen combustion engines are, as of now, inefficient compared to electrics, and - possibly more importantly - compared to hydrogen fuel cell electrics.

Hydrogen combustion is not an impossibility for the future. Its combustion produces only water, but keeping it cold enough to be stored, and managing that storage with what is quite a volatile element, means that it is a complicated fuel to use. 

This is also true for hydrogen fuel cells, of course, but the increased efficiency of hydrogen fuel cells compared to hydrogen combustion makes the storage complication more worthwhile to overcome when looking at fuel cells. 

But, that is not to say that internal combustion engines using hydrogen as fuel cannot become more efficient. That is why companies such as Toyota, and the aforementioned motorcycle manufacturers Kawasaki and Yamaha, are developing such technology.

But, for now, at least, hydrogen seems best used in the fuel cells planned by manufacturers like TVS.

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