Simona Dinu of the London Hydrogen Partnership (LHP) will speak at the Automotive Cleantech event (the rebranded EV Investor Club) on 4 April 2013, on policy in London to encourage hydrogen vehicles.
The focus on hydrogen in London for the transport sector is accelerating with the recent news that Toyota has joined the Mayor’s LHP, the first major OEM member. The LHP, which has initiated over £50 million worth of hydrogen projects in London, is a public-private partnership, which aims to accelerate the commercialisation of Hydrogen Fuel Cell technologies in London.
The past six months or so have seen a surge of activity in the automotive fuel cell space. Most recently Volkswagen announced a contract worth between US$60 million and US$100 million with Ballard Power Systems, for the supply of fuel cells for the HyMotion demonstration cars. Ballard engineers will design the fuel cells and provide testing and integration work.
First published in Cleantech magazine, 2012 Issue 5.
While large scale hydrogen storage applications may focus on the scope for grid smoothing, in certain parts of the world the market economics are particularly attractive for onsite hydrogen generation using electrolysis. Islands and remote locations are a case in point.
The Technology Strategy Board has a wide remit. It focuses on innovation in many fields ranging from biosciences to aerospace, and from high-value manufacturing to the creative industries. However, since its establishment in 2007 the organisation’s portfolio has included successfully investing in fuel cells and hydrogen through its Energy Programme. Crucial to the success of the initiatives highlighted in this article has been the way the Energy Programme has worked coherently with other relevant programmes in the investment portfolio, such as the Low Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform and the Materials for Energy programme. This joined-up approach is now really showing results, with some of the world’s largest automotive and utility companies beginning to partner with SMEs in Technology Strategy Board projects to develop the specific energy technologies.
These technologies play into several of the organisation’s priority areas – including energy, transport and sustainability. The earlier investments were part of research and development programmes in generic energy-related technologies, and built on previous work funded by the DTI, as it was then. However from 2009 onwards attention narrowed to focus on strategically important technologies, including fuel cells and hydrogen. The first dedicated funding for these technologies was quickly followed by a fuel cell demonstrator programme funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and delivered by the Technology Strategy Board. Together, the Board and DECC have provided consistent innovation investment in this area over recent years.
Richard Kemp-Harper, the Technology Strategy Board’s Lead Technologist for Transport and Energy, points out the differences between its role and that of other organisations working in the cleantech arena. As the UK’s innovation agency, providing grant funding and other forms of innovation support, the Technology Strategy Board helps co-ordinate investment, networking and collaboration around low carbon technologies. He says: “What we do is to work with business to understand future directions and opportunities, then work to apply the right tools – and not just funding – to stimulate innovation.”
First published on the Cleantech Investor website, September 2012
Hyundai has become the first global automotive manufacturer to enter into production of a fuel cell electric vehicle. Korea’s Hyundai Motor Group sold 4.1 million vehicles in 2011 and has ranked as the world’s fifth-largest automaker since 2007. The company’s Chairman Mong Koo Chung, has made the fuel cell a programme a top priority and the firm is setting the pace in the race to bring fuel cell electric vehicles into the mainstream.
Hyundai announced at the Paris Motor Show that it will begin series production of the ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle in December this year. The result of 14 years of research and development, the ix35 utilises a Fuel Cell stack based on Hyundai’s proprietary technology.
In contrast to other fuel cell vehicles that use compressed air, the ix35 stack uses ambient air, reducing parasitic loss in the oxygen supply, improving fuel efficiency and halving power consumption.
The stack converts hydrogen into electricity, which in turn charges a lithium-polymer battery (the same battery used in the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid), which powers the vehicle’s electric motor.
The car has a kinetic energy regeneration system charges the battery when the driver applies the brakes or drives downhill and the ix35 Fuel Cell is equipped with stop/start technology, which shuts down the fuel cell stack and relies on battery power only when the vehicle is idling, minimising energy loss in city driving.
The Fuel Cell ix35’s drivability and performance is comparable to the petrol equivalent. It accelerates from zero to 62mph in 12.5 seconds, has a top speed of 160km/h (100mph) and can travel 588km (365miles) without refuelling.
Hyundai expects over 1,000 ix35 fuel cell vehicles to be on the road by 2015. It is targeting fleets for both public and private lease and has already signed contracts with cities in Denmark and Sweden. Beyond 2015, mass production is planned from the Ulsan manufacturing plant in Korea.
The Hyundai’s ix35 Fuel Cell is currently participating in the H2moves European Hydrogen Road Tour – a multi-city display of hydrogen fuel cell vehicle technology. The Tour arrives in the UK next week and the ix35 - along with fuel cell cars from Mercedez-Benz, Honda and Toyota, will be available for ride and drive in London on Saturday 6 October: more information
We were treated to a preview of Hyundai’s strategy on fuel cells by Dr.-Ing. Sae Hoon Kim, the company’s Head of Fuel Cell Engineering, at Investing in Future Transport last month. A video of Dr Kim’s presentation is here:
First published in Cleantech magazine Volume 6 Issue 4. Copyright Cleantech Investor Ltd
By Lisa Jerram, Pike Research
Since around 2008, 2015 has been the date targeted by automakers for introducing commercially viable fuel cell vehicles (FCVs). Since this date was established, there has been a worldwide recession, with the subsequent reretrenching of the auto industry, especially in the United States. We have also seen the launch of ‘electric vehicles 2.0’ – the market introduction of plug-in vehicles (PEVs) like the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt which are much more sophisticated and commercially viable than the PEVs of the 1990s. Meanwhile, the US Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, publicly stated in 2009 that fuel cell cars were not viable and sought to end US federal funding that supported fuel cell car development.
What is interesting is what has happened since then.