Hopium Machina revealed as luxury hydrogen car


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French start-up Hopium pins hopes on hydrogen to carve out niche in hotly contested luxury EV market.

The Hopium Machina is the first car from a French start-up that’s aiming to claim a stake in the luxury EV segment by utilising hydrogen power.

Hopium claims the €120,000 (AUD$188,000) FCEV making its debut at the Paris motor show will have a 1000km range and complete a refill in three minutes.

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This should give it an edge over comparatively slow-charging battery-electric rivals, including the BMW i7 and Mercedes-Benz EQS, should hydrogen filling stations become abdundant enough to drive demand.

Power is provided by electric motors in an unknown arrangement, outputting 368kW. This is sent to the road through bespoke Bridgestone tyres developed to minimise rolling resistance (and maximise range).

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This allows the Machina to dispatch the 0-100km/h sprint in less than 5.0sec, eventually topping out at 230km/h.

For reference, the Lucid Air Dream Edition Performance reaches 270km/h, while the Tesla Model S Plaid is claimed to top 322km/h.

Inside, the Hopium features seating for four and an infotainment system spanning the entire dashboard, operated by haptic controls.

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All the materials are sourced from Europe to minimise the carbon footprint involved in transporting them to Hopium’s planned factory in Normandy. This plant will open in 2025 and employ some 1500 staff, targeting production of around 20,000 cars per year.

Normandy is to play a key role in Hopium’s expansion plans. It currently targets €120 million (AUD$188m) in turnover by 2025 and €1 billion (AUD$1.56bn) in sales by 2030.

Also underpinning these goals is Hopium’s premium positioning. The Machina will be priced in line with more established competitors, including the EQS and the Porsche Taycan, for which a second-generation model is due in 2027, two years after the Machina’s posited launch date.

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