Environmentally friendly vehicles are a hotly debated tpoic in the automotive industry because they provide motorists with the freedom and efficiency of a standard vehicle without harming the environment. Nevertheless, the number of green vehicles is still low in many European cities. With the exception of Norway – a country fully convinced of the successful future of the electric car – less than 5% of vehicles registered on Europe’s roads are powered by electric motors. The catastrophic environmental consequences of combustion engine vehicles are well documented. So why are their more environmentally friendly counterparts not widespread?
An important aspect concerns the prejudice of many motorists that environmentally friendly vehicles do not have the same performance as those powered by fossil fuel. However, this claim is easily refuted. Many pessimists are convinced that environmentally friendly vehicles have disadvantages in terms of speed or energy efficiency, which precludes them as a realistic alternative for most drivers. However, this is simply wrong. The technology for developing environmentally friendly vehicles that can keep pace with the advancement of conventional combustion engines already exists.What makes us so sure? We were involved in the planning and development of one of these vehicles.
Hydrogen-powered vehicles can score with both fuel efficiency and speed
In May, we supplied the global automotive supplier Magna with a specially designed HyRange hydrogen fuel cell system for their hybrid vehicle.
It was given the name Fuel Cell Range Extended Electric Vehicle – or FC REEV for short. Unlike a conventional hybrid engine based on the combination of gasoline or diesel and electric drive, the FC REEV is completely electrical and with hydrogen for range extension, thus achieving emission-free hybrid drive.
The typical attraction of a hybrid vehicle is the choice between environmentally friendly electric drive at slower speeds – for example, in the inner city area – and gasoline or diesel, if it has to go faster. This approach was retained by FC REEV, but gasoline and diesel fuel were replaced with hydrogen. Thus, the same electric motor type can be reused without resorting to polluting fossil fuels.
A positive side effect of the HyRange fuel cell system is its sound, or rather lack of it; the engine is much quieter than its counterpart, the internal combustion engine. Thus, the FC REEV not only ensures less air pollution but could potentially even contribute to reducing the noise pollution. Imagine a world in which all vehicles would make use of such a drive. The consequences of noise pollution from major roads would be significantly lower.
This vehicle not only impresses with its pollutant-free drive, it also scores in terms of speed and efficiency. So it has a range of up to 500 kilometres without refuelling and reaches a top speed of 130 km / h (or 80 miles). Thus, the maximum speed is close to or above the current maximum speed in most European countries, whereby the change to an environmentally friendly hybrid vehicle in principle, is hardly a disadvantage.
The main difference between the FC REEV and a conventional hybrid vehicle is the hydrogen. It is easier than is often assumed to run hydrogen on vehicles, using technologies that already exist. And the best part? The whole thing is 100% environmentally friendly. It is by no means a vision of the future that still needs to be realized. This technology is already in use today!
Vehicles using the HyRange fuel system are 100% emission free. This puts them far ahead of classic hybrid vehicles in terms of environmental protection. Hydrogen fuel cells guarantee the highest performance and lowest fuel consumption with minimal environmental impact. At Proton Motor, we see ourselves as pioneers of hydrogen evolution, with the mission to provide environmentally friendly drive solutions for a variety of vehicle types and stationary systems.
Maybe you run your own business and want to improve your carbon footprint. The hydrogen-fuel cell system gives you the power to operate your entire business with renewable energy. Computers, lights, telephones, and nearly all electronic devices and equipment in your office can be fed with environmentally friendly energy in this way. While you’re at it, you can equip your employees’ company cars with HyRange systems to boost their awareness of environmental issues.
So, if you are considering buying a new vehicle, but are worried about your carbon footprint, you should consider using hydrogen fuel cells. It’s easier than you might think.
Fuel cell module in use: