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New form of hybrid vehicle

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Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 5770
Location: Cambridge

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:37 pm    Post subject: New form of hybrid vehicle Reply with quote


This is a biofuel/fuel cell/electric hybrid. Interesting idea, although only a prototype.

Just looking at the numbers is interesting. I guess it's in a van because the prototype is too big to fit in a car. It claims a range of 600km for a 30 litre tank, so with ethanol holding about 7KWh a litre and the vehicle requiring about 4KWh/mile we can get an estimate of the efficiency of the fuel cell.

One important note - it mentions range at cruising speed, but the 5KW output would only sustain a cruising speed of about 30mph. At 60 mph the 24KWh battery would still go flat in about 150 miles as it draws more power than the fuel cell can replace.

If they can double the power output and squeeze it into a car and keep the price down, it might compete with a BMW i3 range extender, but by then better batteries will be on the market anyway.

My experience of the Leaf is that 24KWh is fine for local driving, but a pain for long distance at best. Reading real world reports on the 30KWh Leaf is that the 20% increased range makes a big difference on the long range practicality of the vehicle. By the time you get to 50KWh you will have a vehicle that can handle 95% of driving miles without logistic planing or route/speed compromises.


quick calculation returns about 45% efficiency for the fuel cell. Better than an ICE but you wouldn't need a heater in the winter Smile
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