The power of the first element on the periodic table has been used to power rockets and space exploration for decades.
One of the cleanest resources to use in any application with zero emissions and renewable power, the use of Hydrogen in fuel cell applications is on the rise as the world leans towards a green efficiency and lowering carbon emissions.
Development of hydrogen powered vehicles began with the development of a Volvo C30 DRIVe Electric in 2009, the main aim was to switch from fossil fuel (Diesel and Petrol) powered vehicles to electric-hydrogen cell or a hybridisation of vehicles. The Swedish Automotive manufacturer had to develop new means to penetrate the existing markets with very little room for deviation from current fuel sources due to the slow shift in big energy companies using hydrogen products. This has caused the market to play catch up.
The move was dubbed “DRIVe Towards Zero” as part of Volvo cars environmental conscious vision towards zero emissions.
Volvo Cars have been in exploration or research and development of a Range extender fuel cell for the XC90 hybrid platform, which will enable the electric power plant to remain at full charge when you are on the go.
One of the Benefits of this are that you will minimise the use of having to charge the vehicles electric plant from a power socket which is connected to the existing infrastructure (power grid). The spill over theory of the development of hydrogen fuel cells will essentially lower the demand for power consumption and non-renewable resources.
With water being the only by-product emitted from the vehicle, it is an incredible way to ensure that the environmental impact of vehicle usage is kept to a minimum. Volvo Cars is continuously looking for ways to challenge the status quo, alongside a few manufacturers that have gone the route of using hydrogen as the only fuel source and producing concept models.
In the first phase of the case study between Volvo Cars and Powercell, a 20kw range extender is being researched, the key is to develop Hydrogen fuel cells for the flagship Volvo XC90 in the second phase.