A small size rechargable battery is also included onboard and it is used as complementary energy storage during rapid acceleration or for recovering the energy when the vehicle is breaking. All FCEV:s in the market fulfill actual safety standards that apply for all road vehicles drivning on public roads.
Hydrogen used as fuel for FCEV:s comes from a reverse process to the above. A continuous industrial production process is run inside a hydrogen production unit, based on a process of electrolysis. The electrolyser utilises just clean water and it is powered by the electricity from power lines to split the water into molecules of oxygen and hydrogen, which are then captured in separate pressurised storage tanks. The electrolysis is run using electric power from renewable energy sources like wind or sun, thereby providing fuel with zero emission footprint.
Production of hydrogen from renewable energy sources could actually utilise excess energy from wind or sun, when supply of the electric power from these irregular sources exceeds demand for power in the power distribution system.
Driving an FCEV is as easy as a battery-electric car. Plenty of power is instantly available at your right foot, you just chose the direction and no gear shifting is necessary.
With full hydrogen tank – which in today’s FCEV is approximately 5-6 kg of pressurised hydrogen – the available range is 500-800 km of zero-emission drivning. The available driving distance remains unchanged in year’s all seasons – is not reduced when you need to keep the inside of your vehicle warm, as the fuel cell generates some excess heat which could be used for heating the vehicle’s cabin.
Refilling the hydrogen to full takes less than 5 minutes so travelling with these cars will become very easy and time efficient with expanded network of new hydrogen refueling stations planned across Europe in coming years.
Great fuel cell electric cars are already available in the market through Toyota and Hyundai, and BMW recently announced market introduction of this car variant in their vehicle lineup. Driving on hydrogen is gaining attention among worlds vehicle manufacturers and numerous vehicle models are expected to be launched in next few years.
With hydrogen generated by utilizing electricity from renewable energy sources like wind or sun, driving an FCEV is a true zero-emission transport. Fuel cell do not produce any CO2 nor any other harmful gases, and the only by-products are pure water and some excess heat.
Full-scale implementation of hydrogen in vehicles will accelerate transition towards zero-emission transports powered by electricity. With propulsion provided by an electric motor, fuel cell electric vehicles become a natural complement to battery electric vehicles, specifically when long driving distances and when fast refilling is required.