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British supercar manufacturer Briggs Automotive Company (BAC) and engineering company Viritech have partnered to build hydrogen powertrains for niche vehicles. 

BAC, which manufactures the single-seat Mono sportscar, has been climate-positive since 2018 and has extensive experience with lightweight materials such as graphene and niobium which offer big benefits for efficiency.

Viritech, meanwhile, develops hydrogen powertrains for the automotive, aerospace, marine, and distributed power industries.

Together, the companies have won the Niche Vehicle Network Feasibility Study Grant, funded by the British government’s Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV). The Niche Vehicle Network, an independent body designed to support the UK’s wide range of low-volume automotive companies, helped with the bid.

The funding will be used to carry out a feasibility study into developing a hydrogen powertrain for niche vehicle applications. Key elements of Viritech’s powertrains include H2 optimised energy management systems, structural pressure vessels and lightweight energy stores.

“We are delighted to be working with Viritech and their ground-breaking approach to FCEV,” says Neil Briggs, BAC’s Co-Founder and Director of Product Development.

“Technology has always been at the forefront of our development, and we remain committed to exploring new automotive innovations within all that we do. Alternative fuels, along with lightweight construction methods, reduce vehicle emissions considerably without compromising driver engagement, something we are committed to preserving at BAC.”

Through exploring alternative powertrain solutions for a net-zero future, BAC says it hopes “to preserve the delicate balance that weight plays in a vehicle’s driving dynamics.” Lightness, of course, has always been a priority for BAC – so much so that its Mono eschews passenger seats entirely.

“Working with BAC on this exciting challenge is a perfect partnership,” says Matt Faulks, Viritech’s Chief Technical Officer.

“We share a passion for automotive innovation and developing high-performance vehicles, as well as a commitment to ensuring all entities in the industry from Niche to high-volume have a vibrant, zero-emission future.”

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