Nuvera + Quadrivium + Pininfarina = Sintesi
Occasional Ferrari designer Pininfarina has unveiled a futuristic concept car that puts a motor at every wheel. According to EVWorld, the Sintesi (Italian for synthesis) is powered by Nuvera's Quadrivium (Latin for a small hydrogen fuel cell and electric motor driving each wheel, apparently). By breaking up the drive train into smaller pieces– a strategy its makers call "liquid" packaging– Pininfarina was free to sculpt an aggressively aerodynamic (i.e. lozenge-like) projectile around four occupants. From the side, the leading edge of the Sintesi's hood seems to channel a bit of muscle car. The coda tronca (cutoff tail) calls to mind a Starfleet shuttle craft. The interior is dominated by a translucent epoxy instrument panel. Though Andrea Pininfarina made all the right noises about his sponsor for the project, the Italian fashionista says his design firm plans to release their own electric vehicle in 2009. So there.
The Sintesi is futuristic, but is hydrogen the fuel of the future? Here's a great exchange from a recent budget hearing: Rep. Roscoe Bartlett is one of the founders and, one might say, the lion of Congress's peak oil caucus, a group of lawmakers concerned about the world's oil supply running out. With leonine intensity, the Maryland Republican took on the Bush administration on its funding priorities for energy research and development. "Why are we interested in hydrogen?" Bartlett pounced, at a contentious budget hearing by the House Committee on Science and Technology's subcommittee on energy and environment. "Hydrogen, like fusion, represents the holy grail out there," responded Steve Isakowitz, chief financial officer of the Department of Energy. It could hold the keys to reducing dependence on fossil fuels, he said. "How is it going to do that, since hydrogen is not an energy source?" Bartlett shot back. "We will always use more energy to make hydrogen than we get out of it." Isakowitz said it mattered how you produced hydrogen, which is why the administration believed in the development of nuclear power to produce hydrogen. This solution didn't satisfy Bartlett. "Hydrogen is not an energy source," he said. "It is not a silver bullet. It will not solve our problem. There's a lot of irrational exuberance in this area." http://www.usnews.com/blogs/beyond-the-barrel/2008/3/5/the-bumpy-pathway-to-an-energy-breakthrough.html
Sbarro already used the same concept in 2003 with a 160 hp yamaha engine in each wheel (see http://clcalvet.club.fr/sbarro/ram/ramgb.html)