Renault-Nissan pull the plug on fuel cell cars
The alliance of Daimler, Ford and Renault-Nissan working on commercialising a fuel cell car has hit a road block as Renault-Nissan pull out. The partners had aimed to develop shared components but now decided to focus on electric cars first.
Plug Power and Linde to advance fuel cells in Europe
U.S. American Plug Power has teamed up with Linde Material Handling to advance the use of fuel cells in manufacturing operations in Europe. Linde already offers a range of vehicles, which Plug Power deems “fuel cell ready” and waiting to house their stacks.
Audi & Ballard extend fuel cell cooperation
Audi and Ballard Power Systems have announced their decision to extend their fuel cell cooperation, that is the existing Hymotion programme, for another 3.5 years until August 2022. The extension is valued between 62 and 100 million dollars.
Engie fits 50 Kangoo Z.E. with fuel cells
The energy provider Engie has fitted a fleet of 50 Kangoo Z.E. with fuel cell range extenders from Symbio, in Rungis, near Paris, for their employees. A hydrogen fuel station was also installed at the location.
France to utilise hydrogen across all sectors
Minister of Environment, Nicolas Hulot, has a new strategy as he aims for France to draw heavily on hydrogen and fuel cell technology. The plan includes all levels of the country’s economy and details a turn in transport through FCVs and infrastructure.
EU Project ZEFER testing business case for fuel cell cars
Zero Emission Fleet vehicles for European Roll-out, or ZEFER in short, is a new EU project that will deploy a total of 180 FCVs in three European capitals, namely Brussels, Paris, and London. The €26m project is designed to see how hydrogen fleets perform in the real world, that is as taxis and police cars.
Nikola Motor sues Tesla over design patent violation
Nikola Motor has filed a lawsuit against Tesla claiming the Semi electric truck to be “substantially” similar to Nikola Motor’s own design of a fuel cell electric semi truck. In the filing, the infringement is estimated to be worth a loss of 2 billion dollars to Nikola. Tesla denies the allegations.
Audi to launch a fuel cell model by 2020
Audi is planning to to take the lead for VW’s hydrogen cars and wants to launch a production fuel cell model by 2020, albeit in a small series. Rupert Stadler announced the news at the annual press conference and also said to go serial with their latest autonomous concept.
Hydrogen Council signs 11 new members
The Hydrogen Council, founded at last year’s summit in Davos, now counts another 11 members, among them Bosch, Great Wall Motor or 3m. They join the likes of ABB, BMW or Shell who all want to foster transport fuelled by hydrogen.
Tesla, fuel cells, Prius, Vector.
Tesla loses Missouri: The U.S. state’s Auto Dealer Association has won its case against the EV maker, which will no longer be allowed to sell cars directly to its customers. That means that there will still be Tesla show rooms in Missouri, but the cars can only be purchased online.
UN pushes FCVs in China: The third phase of UN Development Programme looking to push commercialisation of fuel cells in China to help limit climate change has kicked off. The project “Accelerating the Development and Commercialization of Fuel Cell Vehicles in China” follows tests with a total of 12 prototype FC buses from different manufactures.
Prius police car: Dubai police have added another four Toyota Prius the fleet, which now includes a total of ten of the “best-selling” hybrids. A few months ago, the country’s Roads and Transport Authority also pledged that half of its fleet would be hybrid by 2021.
Charging Auckland: Vector has installed another two fast-charger at BP Connect Pakuranga and another two at Auckland Airport Shopping Centre, bringing the total number of chargers at the airport to seven. The company has launched a digital map with charging location. The latter is said to soon also be available as an app.
scoop.co.nz (BP), stuff.co.nz (airport)
DLR & Lange Aviation, Ford, Fuel cell recycling, VCU.
Quietly chasing the bad guy: The electric sailplane ‘Antares’ developed by Lange Aviation and DLR (German Aerospace Centre) is equipped with a special camera in order to survey offenders from above and send the images to police in real time. Helicopters would be too noisy for the job. The Antares was built as both a battery powered and a fuel cell version.
ingenieur.de, dlr.de (articles in German)
Ford heads for Silicon Valley: Ford plans to open a “Research & Innovation Center” in Palo Alto, less than three miles from the HQ of Tesla Motors. The centre will supposedly be one of the auto industry’s largest. Whether Ford will feel inspired by its neighbour to work on electrification was not announced.
Recycling fuel cells: Axion Consulting, Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells and Technical Fibre Products have developed a recycling process to recover high-value materials from waste fuel cells. The collaborative project is funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.
Doubling efficiency: A professor from the Virginia Commonwealth University has received 505,000 dollars from the National Science Foundation to make Li-ion batteries more efficient and environmentally friendly. Assistant Professor Dr. Arunkumar Subramanian says he will simultaneously research alternative battery materials that are both nontoxic and more abundant.
– Feedback –
Most clicked link on Thursday was Hyundai´s “Prius-fighter” dedicated hybrid seen wearing production body.
Fuel cell myths, World map of drivetrains.
Reading tip: Dr. Henri Winand, CEO of Intelligent Energy, wants to show that fuel cell vehicles are viable for the mass market. He therefore aims to debunk the myths around the use, power efficiency and cost of fuel cells.
Click tip: Bosch presents a world map of drivetrains. It shows i.e. that almost every fifth newly bought vehicle in Japan is a hybrid. Bosch forecasts that of a predicted 113 million total vehicles sold worldwide in 2020, 6.5 million will be hybrids, 3 million will be plug-in hybrids, and 2.5 million will be all-electric.
QUANT e, Supercapacitors, LiFePO4, Fuel Cells.
Flow-cell to go serial: nanoFLOWCELL is currently working with Bosch, PROCEDA and others on two prototypes of the QUANT e, head of technology Nuncio La Vecchia said. The companies want to increase performance as well as prepare the flow-cell vehicle for homologation.
Inner visions I: Chemists at New York and Cambridge Uni have found a way to look into the inner workings of supercapacitors. Their technology is based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and offers a way to monitor the molecule’s behaviour and possibly enhance the performance of such devices.
Inner visions II: With the same aim but other means and objects of interest, researchers from Brookhaven National Laboratory monitor what is going on at the cathode of lithium iron phosphate batteries during charging to learn more about the destructive effects of quick charges.
Hydrogenase instead of platinum? Researchers from the Ruhr-University Bochum and the Max-Planck-Institute Mülheim an der Ruhr have developed a protective shield for bio-catalysts in fuel cells. The hydrogenases that serve as catalyst do not have direct contact with the electrode but are packed within a redox hydrogel making the use of inexpensive material viable.
– Feedback –
Most clicked link on Wednesday was Tesla’s tweet of a Hummer being parked at a Supercharger site, reassuring that this was not the new Model X.
MIT, Fraunhofer IAO, Brammo, Fuel cells.
Sensible cooperation: Fraunhofer IAO is collaborating with MIT’s SENSEable City Lab. A new research centre in Stuttgart called Ambient Mobility Lab will develop “future-ready mobility concepts” like autonomous driving, carsharing, and new drivetrains. The state of Baden-Württemberg is funding the project with 2.65 million euros.
To electrify them all: E-motorcycle manufacturer Brammo and drivetrain specialist Team Industries plan to jointly offer solutions to electrify a range of vehicles like buses, boats, motorbikes, quads and others. All but cars basically, as they strive to tap the potential of rather new markets.
Deepening fuel cell understanding: Researchers at Stanford, SLAC, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Sandia National Labs, analysed the hydrogen-oxygen reaction in a fuel cell and documented the process using a synchrotron. They expect their observation of the transfer of oxygen ions in the catalysts to lead to more efficient fuel cells.
– Feedback –
Most clicked link on Thursday was the video of Robb Holland, who learned to love Tesla on the Nürburgring.
It´s all in the name.
The former Head of R&D at GM and now a professor at Michigan University has his own theory on why fuel cell technology has not yet taken off. It is because of its name, which he believes is too far from ordinary people’s reality and too close to combustion engines. He thus proposes to call them ‘hydrogen battery’ instead. By the way, his name is Larry Burns.
Fuel cell report, Interview with Dale Vince.
Research tip: A new report by Grand Review Research predicts that global fuel cell capacity will reach 664.5 megawatts by 2020. This would mean a 22.6% compound annual growth rate from 2014 to 2020.
grandviewresearch.com (study, fee required) via networkedblogs.com
Video tip: In the latest episode of Fully Charged, Robert Llewellyn talks to Dale Vince, Ecotricity’s founder and main sponsor of the show, about the past, present and future of green energy.