Juliette Smith |
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The lightest, smallest cars in the world will be competing this weekend in a strange car race in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

Gho2stHydrogen car Gh2ost and its driver

Teams from all over the planet will drive their vehicles around a 10-mile track during the Scottish round of the Eco-marathon, an annual fuel economy competition organised by Shell Global Solutions programme.

They will be trying to beat the world record for fuel consumption, set at last year’s Eco-marathon by French car Microjoule, an astounding average fuel consumption of 10,705 miles per gallon (mpg).

The competition started 50 years ago in the oil giant’s Illinois labs, as a geeky contest between fellow scientists, to see who could get the most miles per gallon from their vehicles. At the time the winner scarcely achieved 50mpg.

Nowadays competitors range form 11 year olds (the minimum age to enter) and engineering students, to
university professors and semi professional independent teams; and the competition has become a showcase for the most technologically advanced, high- performance cars. This year will see the dolphin shaped BOC Gh2ost, built and designed by British company siGen, among the competitors. Gh2ost is a hydrogen car hailed as the most efficient vehicle ever to move on wheels — it is said to need only the equivalent of 2 gallons of fuel to circle the globe and its only emission is water.

The BOC Gh2ost car runs on a hydrogen fuel cell, which was invented in 1839 by Sir William Grove. Fuel cells
generate electricity by splitting hydrogen from fuel into oxygen and water. They are being acclaimed as the solution to greenhouse gas emissions and could be used to power anything from big power stations to fire alarms, greatly reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.

It will be a great achievement for hydrogen technology if Gh2ost wins the contest this weekend.Come back for the results on Monday!

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