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Ferrari Accelerates Toward Sustainability with New Hydrogen Engine Patent

Ferrari, the renowned Italian automaker, has recently filed a patent application for a hydrogen-powered internal-combustion engine. This move suggests that Ferrari is exploring alternative options to keep combustion engines relevant in a future with stricter emissions regulations. While hydrogen fuel cells have been widely discussed as a clean energy solution, Ferrari's approach involves burning hydrogen directly instead of gasoline, resulting in zero carbon dioxide emissions.

Although this concept is not entirely new, with BMW having built a hydrogen-powered 7-Series in the early 2000s, it is the first time Ferrari has publicly expressed interest in this technology. According to the patent application, Ferrari claims that a hydrogen engine would generate no greenhouse gases and minimal amounts of other pollutants such as carbon monoxide and particulates. This aligns with Ferrari's commitment to reducing emissions and promoting sustainability.

However, it is important to note that hydrogen production methods can vary in terms of their environmental impact. While hydrogen generated through electrolysis using renewable energy sources has low overall emissions, other production methods relying on fossil fuels may have a higher carbon footprint.

Additionally, hydrogen is less energy-dense than gasoline, which means that a car equipped with a hydrogen-combustion engine would require larger onboard storage to achieve equivalent range. Ferrari acknowledges this in the patent application, stating that such a car would be longer and heavier compared to a similar petrol-powered internal-combustion engine vehicle.

Toyota, another automaker, has also been exploring hydrogen combustion engines and has even fielded a hydrogen-powered Corolla race car in partnership with Yamaha. Hydrogen may become Ferrari's technology of choice to meet emission regulations while maintaining the performance and prestige associated with their brand.

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