Morgan Motor Co., the tiny British automaker so old-fashioned it still uses wood frames, is stepping well into the future with LifeCar, a hydrogen fuel cell hybrid it says will prove “a zero-emission vehicle can be fun to drive.”
Morgan will unveil the hand-built aluminum-bodied coupe next month at the Geneva Auto Show, and although there’s no word on whether LifeCar will ever be more than a one-off concept, the company hopes to show hydrogen is a viable – if distant – alternative to fossil fuels. Morgan has spent more than two years working with a British defense firm, two universities and a hydrogen supplier to develop a car it promises will “minimize the fuel cell cost and provide the fuel economy for a 200 mile range.”
As impressive as the LifeCar is, what makes it truly remarkable is a company so small as Morgan built it. The company, founded in 1912, employs 156 people who built 650 cars last year – all of them by hand in a small factory in rural England. Yet it is standing alongside Honda, General Motors and BMW with a hydrogen-fueled vehicle that works.