Coventry design student reinvents the racing rulebook with zero-emission car

Coventry design student reinvents the racing rulebook with zero-emission car

Sam’s zero-emission race car, which has been designed to boost the motorsport's environmental image

Student news

Wednesday 29 May 2013

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An automotive design student from Coventry University is proposing an ambitious plan to improve motorsport's green credentials as part of his final year Degree Show project, which will be showcased in the city next week.

Sam Hare, originally from Cheltenham, has designed a single seater race car which would be powered by synthetic hydrogen fuel and whose chassis could be adapted for use in different racing categories – reducing costs and boosting the sport's environmental image.

The 22 year-old, who has been involved in motor racing from the age of eleven both as a driver and a mechanic, came up with the idea for his final year project after becoming frustrated with the financial barriers in the sport and its lack of sustainability initiatives.

Single seater racing cars in 'feeder' series such as such as Formula Ford and Formula 3 are currently designed to be used exclusively in one category, making it prohibitively expensive for most young drivers to progress up the career ladder to Formula One without significant financial backing.

Sam's new design concept and rulebook would keep costs to a minimum by stipulating that cars' chassis must be designed to be modified easily and 'upgraded' with different bodywork and powertrains for different race series, increasing its lifespan.

The cars must also be powered by hydrogen combustion, meaning its normal internal combustion engine would be modified to run on liquid hydrogen fuel as opposed to using expensive and unproven fuel cell technology.

In keeping with the car's sustainable credentials, the only tailpipe emission would be water, and owing to the use of internal combustion technology the vehicle would still give off a loud exhaust note – a significant plus point for racing fans across the world.

Sam, whose project will be exhibited at Coventry University's Degree Show in June, said:


The cost of competing at a serious level in UK motorsport is continually spiralling upwards, and I've seen from my own experience that talented youngsters are being put off trying to become the next Jenson Button because of the financial barriers.


My sustainable race car project sets out to create a benchmark design which could help reverse that trend and allow more people to take part, while at the same time boosting motor racing's green image.


Britain is the spiritual home of motorsport, so it really ought to be this country which is pioneering new ways to encourage participation and reduce the sport's environmental impact. Hopefully my project can inspire people into action!


Sam's sustainable race car project will be showcased to the public at Coventry University's end of year Degree Show exhibition next week.

It will feature as part of the Industrial Design exhibition which runs from June 1st–6th in the Maurice Foss building on the University's city centre campus.

For more information on the Degree Show, please visit

For further information, please contact Alex Roache, external press and media relations officer, Coventry University, on +44 (0)24 7679 5050 or email