In the fall of 2020, the Hydrogen Motive Company (HMC), founded by French racer Olivier Lombard, unveiled the Hopium Machina luxury sedan with a fuel cell powertrain. Now the company has reported on the construction of the first running prototype, the Alpha 0, as well as the start of collecting pre-orders for a pilot batch of 1,000 vehicles. The reservation will cost 410 euros – a direct reference to the wavelength of the spectral radiation of the hydrogen atom.
The Hopium Machina alpha prototype retains the quirky optics, front and rear air vents, swollen wheel arches and a streamlined, sweeping silhouette, but its powertrain specifications are still unknown. But the power is known – more than 500 horsepower, and the mileage without refueling is 1000 kilometers, as well as the maximum speed – 230 kilometers per hour. The prototype Machina is still capable of developing only 200 kilometers per hour, but they promise to improve this figure by the start of mass production.
In the meantime, HMC is conducting bench and field tests, the purpose of which is to evaluate the operation of all vehicle systems. The next version of the prototype will be assembled by the first quarter of 2022, and full-scale production is planned to be deployed by 2026. The Machina will be assembled in France, and the main markets for the hydrogen sedan will be China, Europe, Japan, South Korea and the United States.
Pre-orders for the first batch of 1,000 vehicles are already being accepted. A seat in the queue can be purchased for 410 euros, which is a reference to the wavelength of the spectral radiation of the hydrogen atom. The Hopium emblem also reminds of the lightest element in the periodic table: its shape is inspired by the layering of hydrogen and the movement of waves on the surface of the water.