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Apricale Claims Weight Parity With ICE Hypercars Thanks to Fuel Cells

EV advocates often hate fuel cells and hydrogen because they would not make sense regarding energy efficiency. However, there is no battery available today that offers the conveniences of fuel cells: fast refueling and low mass. Viritech created the Apricale to show that it is not beneficial only to commercial vehicles but also to hypercars: the Apricale allegedly is the first clean vehicle with more than 1,000 hp and only 1,000 kilograms (2,205 pounds).
Apricale, Viritech's technology demonstrator, will have 25 units and weight parity with ICE hypercars 12 photos
Apricale, Viritech's technology demonstrator, will have 25 units and weight parity with ICE hypercarsApricale, Viritech's technology demonstrator, will have 25 units and weight parity with ICE hypercarsApricale, Viritech's technology demonstrator, will have 25 units and weight parity with ICE hypercarsApricale, Viritech's technology demonstrator, will have 25 units and weight parity with ICE hypercarsApricale, Viritech's technology demonstrator, will have 25 units and weight parity with ICE hypercarsApricale, Viritech's technology demonstrator, will have 25 units and weight parity with ICE hypercarsApricale, Viritech's technology demonstrator, will have 25 units and weight parity with ICE hypercarsApricale, Viritech's technology demonstrator, will have 25 units and weight parity with ICE hypercarsApricale, Viritech's technology demonstrator, will have 25 units and weight parity with ICE hypercarsApricale, Viritech's technology demonstrator, will have 25 units and weight parity with ICE hypercarsApricale, Viritech's technology demonstrator, will have 25 units and weight parity with ICE hypercars
That will give the 25 units that Viritech will build with the help of Pininfarina something no other electric hypercar has managed to offer so far: weight parity with hypercars that burn fuel in their combustion engines. Deliveries should start in 2024.

More than the beautiful shape that Pininfarina allowed this hyper FCEV to have, what really drives our attention to it is the engineering that gave the Apricale this primacy. It starts with a pretty small battery pack: 6 kWh. It is equivalent to one in a plug-in hybrid car with a pretty lousy electric-only range.

Viritech did not disclose how much this battery pack weighs or which chemistry it uses. It only said that the Ultra High Power lithium-ion cells were developed in partnership with AMTE Power. They would stand fast charge and discharge rates, working almost like ultracapacitors. The battery pack is not rechargeable from a power outlet: its only energy source comes from regenerative braking.

The energy it stores is used chiefly for accelerating the Apricale hard, while the power to keep it going comes from the 5.4 kg (11.9 lb) of hydrogen its high-pressure (700 bar, or 10,153 psi) tank can store. The hyper FCEV has a range of 560 kilometers (348 miles) before refueling.

The British engineering company gave the Apricale a “multi-hundred kW fuel cell system” that is still light enough to make it weigh only one metric ton. The company did not reveal what makes it lighter or more powerful than other fuel cells. What we know is that the vehicle has a total deployable energy of 800 kW, which probably means “multi” refers to eight.

Hydrogen tanks usually have a low weight efficiency: only 5%, meaning that a 100-kg (220.5-lb) tank can only carry 5 kg (11 lb) of hydrogen at 700 bar. Integrating the hydrogen tank into the Apricale’s structure also helped it save mass. The company said this is only possible due to its patent-pending Graph-Pro technology, which uses graphene and composites.

The Apricale is 4.55 meters (179.1 inches) long, 1.90 m (74.8 in) wide, 1.15 m (45.3 in) tall, and has a wheelbase of 2.80 m (110.2 in). The active ride height gives it a ground clearance ranging from 95 millimeters (3.74 in) to 135 mm (5.31 in). The hyper FCEV uses two 400 kW (536.4 hp) motors, one for each axle. There’s no word yet for acceleration times, but the top speed is expected to be above 200 mph (320 kph).

As we wrote in April 2021, the Apricale is just a fancy way to demonstrate what Viritech can offer with fuel cells. The company also planned to build a truck named Jovian and an SUV called Tellaro, both of which would also be powered by fuel cells. The company did not mention these two vehicles at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where the Apricale made its premiere to the public.

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