Hyperion XP-1, a Hydrogen Car Following the Tesla Strategy

Can Hyperion convince the market that there is a future for Hydrogen, by making a Hypercar?

Erik Engheim
11 min readAug 13, 2020


The back of the Hyperior XP-1 Hydrogen fuel cell car.

Elon Musk, at the helm of Tesla came up with a simple but brilliant strategy to make electric cars mainstream. You may already know that strategy, but do you know the representative of the opposite strategy?

I know very well, because I am Norwegian and for a period Norwegians where really excited about Norway becoming a real automotive manufacturer just like our big brother Sweden.

While Elon Musk was making his first Tesla model, the Roadster, on the other side of the Atlantic, Norwegian carmaker Think Global was making the Th!nk City car model, which looks like what you see below.

The Th!nk City produced by Norwegian car maker Think Global back in 2008.

It had moderate success in Norway but ultimately failed and few remember it anymore now. But in its heyday I remember thinking the Tesla Roadster was the dumbest idea ever. It was a car for people we in Norway call finance acrobats (people making fast money on the stock exchange living flashy lives). Only a couple of rich guys in Norway bought it, while the Think could be seen zipping around in many parts of Oslo.

Of course at the time I never actually stopped and thought hard about the strategy of either company. Tesla just seemed to be making a toy, and there did not seem to be a deeper thought behind it.

What is The Tesla Strategy?

Now of course I know better. Elon Musk tried to solve multiple problems facing electric cars:

  1. Perception. They where viewed kind of like Golf Carts and not as real cars. Cute little under-powered toy cars. Nothing fro real car enthusiasts. They only had appeal to affluent and highly idealistic environment conscious middle class families.
  2. High cost of production due to low volume and immature technology. Small electric cars back in 2011 despite their modest size and appearance where quite expensive. Think was no different.



Erik Engheim

Geek dad, living in Oslo, Norway with passion for UX, Julia programming, science, teaching, reading and writing.