ACAL Energy and Gordon Murray Design team up to develop affordable fuel cell vehicle concept

This British team and their innovations have the potential to make carbon emission-free, fuel-cell autos affordable by buyers in both developed and emerging markets.

According to the July 6th news release from Chesire, United Kingdom, the 12-month project is funded by the Technology Strategy Board under its Low Carbon Vehicle program. The study will be led by Gordon Murray Design, and combines ACAL Energy’s novel Flowcath® technology that significantly reduces the cost and improves the durability of a fuel cell engine, with Gordon Murray Design’s award winning iStream® concept, which allows for fast, low cost production of light weight vehicles.

The iStream® concept is based on flexibility of the assembly process, which means same factory could be used to manufacture different variants. It consists of the following:

- The process centers on a separate body chassis assembly process.
- The assembly process is separate. During the first part, the powertrain, wiring harnesses, brakes, suspension and all major components can be fitted directly onto the chassis prior to the body panels being fitted.
- The body panels are delivered to the line pre-painted.
- The body panels are ‘married’ to the completed chassis near the end of the assembly process, helping to reduce paint damage normally associated with a standard assembly line. All external panels can be mechanically fixed to the chassis

The iStream® design process is also a complete re-think on high volume materials, as well as the manufacturing process, and is intended to lead to a significant reduction in full lifecycle CO2.

Andrew Everett, Head of Transport at the Technology Strategy Board, said that the Low Carbon Vehicle Integrated Delivery Program aims to draw out innovative technologies being developed within the UK that “have the potential to redefine the current automotive industry view”.

Dr SB Cha, CEO of ACAL Energy said of the partnership: “We are very excited to be working with the team at Gordon Murray Design on this important project. Without carbon emission free vehicles that are affordable in both developed and developing countries, we will not address one of the core drivers of climate change. By combining a low cost fuel cell engine with a lightweight auto platform and a low cost production process, ACAL Energy and Gordon Murray Design aim to show that carbon emission-free fuel cell autos can be an affordable alternative to petroleum fuelled cars, especially for the millions of new buyers in developing countries that will enter the market over the coming decade.”

Gordon Murray said “The team at Gordon Murray Design are very excited to be working with ACAL Energy in another new area where we can continue to push the boundaries of innovation”.

The news of the latest project comes soon after ACAL Energy’s announcement that it had completed its current fund raising round, securing total investments of £6.1 million.

About Acal Energy

For the record, ACAL Energy Ltd is already the world's leading developer of low cost Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells systems, powered by ACAL Energy's proprietary platinum free cathode technology (FlowCath®). The company was founded in August 2004 by FlowCath® inventor Dr Andrew Creeth and is headquartered in Runcorn, UK.

Fuel cells are a highly efficient and clean energy production technology capable of replacing combustion engines in applications including remote and distributed power and residential cogeneration, as well as automotive and mobile power applications.

FlowCath® is unique in that it replaces the expensive precious metal catalyst found in conventional fuel cells with a proprietary low cost liquid catalyst. This not only reduces the cost of the fuel cell, but also provides significant durability and reliability benefits through system simplification and the elimination of the most common failure mechanisms found in standard fuel cells.

With this technology, ACAL Energy believes that fuel cells can ultimately replace combustion engines in remote and distributed power, residential cogeneration and automotive applications. FlowCath® is a registered trademark of ACAL Energy Ltd.

About Gordon Murray Design

Gordon Murray Design Limited is a British company operating from Shalford in Surrey. The Company aims to be the world leader in automotive design and reverses the current industry trend for sub-contracting by having a complete in-house capability for design, prototyping and development. The Company is compact and focused and undertakes automotive and other engineering programs in an efficient and innovative way.

The iStream® assembly process is a complete rethink and redesign of the traditional automotive manufacturing process and could potentially be the biggest revolution in high volume manufacture since the Model T. The simplified assembly process means that the manufacturing plant can be designed to be 20% of the size of a conventional factory, which could reduce capital investment in the assembly plant by approximately 80%. For more information please visit

About The Technology Strategy Board

The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led government body which works to create economic growth by ensuring that the UK is a global leader in innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit

About the Reporter: After 39 years in the auto industry as a design engineer, Frank Sherosky now trades stocks, futures and writes articles, books and ebooks like, "Perfecting Corporate Character," "Awaken Your Speculator Mind", and "Millennial World Order" via He may be contacted here by email: [email protected]

Additional Reading:
DOE announces up to $74M for fuel cell R&D
State business ranking by CNBC reflects same criteria important to auto industry
Why Obama's proposed CAFE standards to 56.2 mpg IS feasible
Is it time to protect your auto sector stocks?
GM to explore advanced natural gas engine technology

Sign-up to our email newsletter for daily perspectives on car design, trends, events and news, not found elsewhere.

Share this content.