European Consortium Developing Hydrogen Motorcycle

A German-Czech consortium has announced it is developing a new hydrogen-powered motorcycle using a fuel cell

German-Czech hydrogen bike

Although in 2024 the realm of using hydrogen in vehicles is generally thought about as the realm of the Japanese manufacturers, a European consortium is now developing a bike that would use the alternative fuel.

The consortium is made up of Czech and German manufacturing companies and research institutes, including the German university, Fraunhofer IWU.

The motorcycle, referred to as ‘Hydrocycle’ (which makes it sound amphibious, really), will not use hydrogen as a combustible like Kawasaki’s massive hydrogen sports tourer concept, but instead as a way to generate electricity via a fuel cell. Fraunhofer IWU notes that the advantages of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) over battery electric vehicles (BEV) are potential increases in range and reduction in time taken to replenish the vehicle’s energy store (refilling the hydrogen tanks in this case or recharging a BEV).

Although hydrogen fuel cells have been around in vehicles for almost 60 years, the bike from the German-Czech consortium will use a “new generation of fuel cell stacks as the basis for the powertrain,” developed by the German company WätaS Wärmetauscher Sachsen. The Czech companies, including the Czech Technical University which has previous experience working on motorcycles with alternative powertrains (above), involved are focused on vehicle body, ergonomics and packaging, so essentially making the powertrain work in a functional and useable way within the package of a motorcycle.

By 2025, it is targeted by the consortium to have a functional motorcycle, that meets European approval standards and regulations, to use as a demonstration of its technology. 

Being essentially a technological experiment, it’s probably unreasonable to expect any ‘availability’ or ‘pricing’ information on this one.

The German-Czech project is the second hydrogen motorcycle project to be launched in the last few months involving research institutes, after MIT announced its own hydrogen fuel cell motorcycle.

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Image credit: Fraunhofer IWU.