Hopium opens reservation book for trippy sedan.
You probably haven't heard of Hopium before. But, to be fair, we live in an era where a new electric car maker is launched on an hourly basis. In the time it took you to read that intro, three new electric supercars were unveiled.
Hopium is a French company founded by Olivier Lombard. He was the youngest winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and he is putting his racing experience to good use by developing a hydrogen-powered high-performance sedan. If you were wondering how these two very different jobs mix, Lombard raced hydrogen-powered cars for seven years. He is uniquely qualified in the area of alt-fuel performance cars and endurance.
We first learned of Hopium's existence in October 2020. Back then, it unveiled its first car called the Machina. According to the reports on the Machina, it made 500 horsepower and had a range of 500 miles. These two basic figures far exceed the hydrogen-powered models currently on offer in the USA. The Hyundai Nexo has 161 horsepower and a 380-mile range. Toyota's Mirai offers 182 horsepower and a range of 401 miles.
While hydrogen-powered vehicles are few and far between currently, there are several interesting models in the pipeline. BMW recently started testing a hydrogen X5, while Land Rover is working on a hydrogen Defender prototype. There is a gap for an upmarket hydrogen sedan, however. Most hydrogen vehicles currently in development are either supercars or SUVs. Glickenhaus is even working on a hydrogen pickup truck. This puts Hopium in a good position to possibly own this segment.
Back in October, the Machina was nothing more than a static display, but Hopium recently announced the existence of Alpha 0. This means Hopium is well beyond the design phase and has a rolling pre-production model capable of achieving 124 mph.
Along with the unveiling of Alpha 0, Hopium opened its order books. You can currently reserve one for 410 euros, which is around $490. Hopium likely needs the first 1,000 reservations to provide the cash to move over to the next phase, full-scale production.
This particular venture still seems shaky to us, but we are pleased to see more happening on the hydrogen side. Even the pope thinks hydrogen is the way to go, and it's hard to get a better celebrity endorsement than that. You can see the first footage of the Hopium Alpha 0 in action below. Unfortunately, it doesn't reveal much more than the looks. The first few seconds are also more opium than Hopium.