Hydrogen May Be the Future of Motorcycles

A team from MIT, known for their innovative electric vehicles, is embarking on a new project: building a hydrogen-powered electric motorcycle. The motorcycle recently underwent its first test-track demonstration and is designed to be an open-source platform, allowing for easy swapping and testing of different components. The team plans to make their plans freely available online, encouraging others to create their own versions. The project is led by graduate student Aditya Mehrotra, who saw potential in a hydrogen-powered bike as a clean alternative to battery-powered vehicles. In addition to presenting the motorcycle at conferences, the team hopes to spark conversations about small-scale hydrogen systems and their potential applications. They also plan to publish papers in academic journals to further impact the energy industry.

The MIT Electric Vehicle Team, known for their innovative electric cars and motorcycles, is taking on a new challenge this year. Instead of their usual battery-powered vehicles, they are building a hydrogen-powered electric motorcycle. The motorcycle recently completed its first full test-track demonstration and is designed to be an open-source platform. This means that different components can be easily swapped out and tested, while others can create their own versions using the team’s freely available plans. The project is led by Aditya Mehrotra, a graduate student who combined his interest in energy systems with his love for motorcycles.

The team saw potential in hydrogen-powered vehicles as a clean alternative to battery-powered cars. While electric vehicles are environmentally friendly, they still have limitations in terms of range and lithium mining emissions. Hydrogen-powered vehicles, on the other hand, can be quickly refilled like gasoline-powered vehicles, providing a more convenient and sustainable transportation option. The team hopes to explore the possibilities of this technology and start conversations about small hydrogen systems.

This project marks a departure from the team’s previous endeavors, as the hydrogen-powered motorcycle will not be entering races or competitions. Instead, it will be showcased at various conferences to spread awareness about the potential of hydrogen-based transportation. The team, comprised of around a dozen students, has been working on building the prototype since January 2023. They recently presented the motorcycle at the Hydrogen Americas Summit and have plans to present it at the World Hydrogen Summit in the Netherlands. Additionally, the bike will be featured at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this month.

Aditya Mehrotra expresses hope that the project will generate interest in “small hydrogen” systems, which could lead to the development of more infrastructure. The team aims to foster creativity and innovation in hydrogen applications through their demonstrations and freely available online information. Furthermore, they plan to publish papers in academic journals to share their project and the valuable lessons they have learned. By doing so, they aspire to make a significant impact on the energy industry.

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