A hydrogen-powered French revolution

Here’s a reason to be proud of France

Tristan Boudazin

--

Photo: https://www.auto-moto.com

As I made very clear in a recent article about the new Peugeot 408, I will happily go on about the terribleness of popular French cars for days on end. However, when, just like in the case of the 408, a brand like Peugeot comes along and impresses the public with its daring styling, and impressive technologies, all for the reasonable price tag they’re known for, I’ll be just as enthusiastic to write about such a car. Today, I’ve found another reason to be proud of France.

It’s perfectly arguable that over the years, French cars have traded their sense of “je ne sais quoi” for a much more down-to-earth and basic approach to popular cars. Citroen was once developing new kinds of suspension systems that rivaled the road-comfort of Rolls Royces and Renault used to go beyond the profit margin and come up with sporty versions of traditional cars such as the V6 Clio, even if it didn’t make any financial sense for the brand. Unfortunately, the time of these crazy innovations and unpredictable breakthroughs is long gone. Or is it?

The car I’m going to talk about today doesn’t claim to bring back pure French madness and nor has it made it its mission. Instead, if we have to bury this past and look into the future, the newly-born French brand Hopium has an interesting and somewhat original proposition. At first glance, what Hopium calls the Machina is yet another sleek 5-door electric saloon concept that will undoubtedly be absurdly fast. But that’s not quite right.

Photo: https://www.auto-moto.com

You see, while the Machina is indeed set to come out with a bold 500 horsepower, offer room for 5 people, and looks nearly Swedish in its elegance, it doesn’t get away with the same old solution of stacking batteries in its floor. After all, not only do batteries add considerable weight to any car, make them expensive, and most ironically, turn them into some of the most polluting cars we’ve made in years — something environmentalists are struggling to get their heads around — they also don’t catch our attention quite as much as they would have had a decade ago.

--

--

Tristan Boudazin

Hello there, I write for fun. I’ve been a car enthusiast for…ever, but now, I’m also sharing my strong opinions on the tech industry and mostly Apple products.