Toyota Mirai, a four-door, mid-size sedan, is one of the world’s first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles.Its performance fully competes with traditional internal combustion engines – but uses no gasoline. With a refuelling time of approximately five minutes, the Mirai creates electricity using hydrogen, oxygen and a fuel cell, and emits nothing but water vapor in the process.
More about Mirai here:
More about the technology here: https://cordis.europa.eu/news/rcn/129746/en
The Nexo is the brand’s second commercially-available hydrogen FCV, but the first built on a bespoke platform with a dedicated architecture. So compared with its predecessor, the ix35 FCV, the physically bigger Nexo is faster, lighter, safer and crucially, substantially more efficient and durable.
More about Nexo here:
A fuel cell electric bus is an electric bus that includes both a hydrogen fuel cell and batteries/capacitors. In such hybrid architecture, the fuel cell provides all of the energy for the vehicle operation, whilst the batteries/capacitors are able to provide peak power to the motors to meet rapid acceleration and gradients. By using a fuel cell in conjunction with a battery, the size of each can be optimized for a given route.
Refuelling of the bus takes around 7 minutes for typical fill today, with designs being developed to allow less than 5 minute.
A fuel cell electric bus does not require any additional city infrastructure work or permits other than a centralized hydrogen refuelling station (HRS) at the bus depot.
Because the fuel cell generates only water as an emission it will always be a zero emission bus.
The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) is a unique public private partnership supporting research, technological development and demonstration activities in fuel cell and hydrogen energy technologies in Europe. Established in 2008, its aim is to accelerate the market introduction of these technologies, realising their potential as an instrument in achieving a carbon-clean energy system and bringing them one-step closer to market readiness. The objective of the FCH JU is to bring these benefits to Europeans through a concentrated effort from all sectors. The FCH JU has a wide portfolio of energy, transport and cross-cutting projects covering both research and demonstration. Over €1 billion from the FCH JU, matched by the private sector, spent on 203 projects in the last ten years has laid the ground for a clean energy revolution. With increasing use of hydrogen and technical advances, the costs of production, distribution and manufacturing will become increasing affordable.
There is an estimation that the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen (FCH) economy could significantly contribute to stimulate new jobs, reaching 5.4 million by 2050 in Europe.
Why are Fuel cells and hydrogen technologies important?
Fuel cells and hydrogen (FCH) technologies have a great potential to help fight carbon dioxide emissions, to reduce dependence on hydrocarbons and to contribute to economic growth. This is because fuel cell is an efficient conversion technology, and hydrogen is a clean energy carrier.
Hydrogen is a source of secure and non-polluting energy. It can be used to power cars, supply electricity and heat homes, all with zero carbon emissions – leaving behind only water vapour as a by-product. Hydrogen as an energy vector also has multiple benefits. Hydrogen can be used as energy storage for surplus renewable electricity, as an energy carrier and in sectors otherwise difficult to decarbonise through electrification.
A fuel cell is an efficient conversion technology that produces electricity and heat through a very simple chemical reaction between oxygen and a fuel, such as Hydrogen. Fuel cells are versatile and have a wide range of potential uses. Typical applications being developed are for transport, including cars, buses, lorries, forklifts, boats, trams, trains and in aeroplanes; portable applications such as small charging stations for mobile phones; domestic heating and energy units (micro-CHP); and power stations and power generators, including for back-up power and power in remote off-grid locations.
Hydrogen for green transport and green energy
In the transport sector, fuel cell electric light and heavy-duty vehicles are clean and safe while offering a longer driving range compared to battery vehicles. Key auto manufacturers Toyota, Hyundai, Daimler-Mercedes have already launched commercial vehicles, while we are expecting by 2025 almost all EU producers to launch pilot models as small fleets. Beyond passenger vehicles (including buses), there is an increasing need for zero emission urban trucks (e.g. garbage trucks) to comply with upcoming access restrictions imposed by cities as part of pollution reduction strategies.
However, there is still a requirement to increase the refuelling infrastructure network (currently 140 refuelling stations across Europe) and the volume of vehicles on the roads in order to allow for further cost reduction. To meet the hydrogen refuelling requirements for further European uptake, several FCH JU projects demonstrate and deploy the necessary infrastructure network. The total number of HRS to be supported by FCH JU will reach 99, of which 48 were deployed in 2018 only. Through our projects, we have deployed to date more than: 1400 newly developed cars and vans, 48 hydrogen refuelling stations, 47 buses in 10 European countries.
Green hydrogen from renewable energy sources: Greenhouse gas emissions are completely avoided when producing hydrogen from renewable sources. Moreover, the increasing availability of renewable sources of electricity is making the production of hydrogen through electrolysis less expensive. The hydrogen stores the surplus energy, which can be converted back to electricity when renewable sources are not active, or are insufficient to meet demand.
Hydrogen can also be injected in the existing natural gas pipelines up to a percent of approximately 20% blended with natural gas, without requirement for upgrade. Fuel cells using hydrogen of natural gas as source can be used in domestic and commercial fuel cell stationary applications, in particular, with micro combined heat and power (m-CHP) systems as an alternative to the existing boilers while utilizing the waste heat from the prime mover for an individual building’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. m-CHPs also deliver electricity as a by-product, or may even follow electrical demand to generate electricity with economic benefits for their users.