Another possibility is supercars. Swiss startup carmaker Piech designed its new prototype electric sports car to accommodate a hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain as well as electric and plug-in hybrid powertrains similar to the Honda Clarity. In a place like California, which is committed to expanding access to hydrogen fueling stations, a fuel-cell could give such a grand touring car a longer range and faster fueling times.
Pininfarina also confirmed last year that it will build 12 hydrogen fuel-cell powered race cars as a demonstration project to show how fuel cells could continue longer-range racing in an era of cleaner emissions.
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Such expensive, aspirational cars and trucks offer a more realistic opportunity for automakers and engineers to amortize the cost of developing hydrogen supplies and bringing down the cost of fuel cells than family sedans or even SUVs do. In the end, if sufficient fuel supplies and infrastructure come online, hydrogen fuel cells could live alongside electric cars, potentially as an upgrade option for buyers who are willing to pay for extra range—and may not mind giving up some space for hydrogen tanks.
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Rivian R1T electric pickup concept. Piech Mark Zero concept. So how can International Standards help overcome these multifarious challenges? It goes without saying that, as with all areas of standardization, it means that the same products can be held to the same level of performance and reliability, regardless of where they are produced.
It also means that the amount of resources required to develop a unique product will be reduced for each country, thereby providing environmental protection. In general, the main obstacle to international standardization is harmonization among manufacturers. After battery-powered vehicles, some countries are now shifting their focus to cars using hydrogen fuel-cell technology.
There is a huge and rapidly growing market out there, so harmonization of International Standards has become a key priority. The hydrogen refuelling connector is standardized by this ISO standard for the countries which have a fuel-cell vehicle market.
Hydrogen fuel is back in the picture
This means that consumers can obtain hydrogen from any hydrogen fuel-cell station in China, Europe, Japan, Korea, the United States and so on. Fuel economy measured in this way will be used by governments to qualify the vehicles and manufacturers implementing this method as one indicator for improving vehicle efficiency. Every day, obstructions like traffic lights and changing speed limits mean that the power demands of a car drivetrain vary rapidly. So do fuel-cell vehicles have the pulling power we expect?
It meant, too, that the state of charge can be tested under different cycles, loads and temperatures. Tchouvelev has worked for 35 years in the field of hydrogen and, after moving to Canada from his native Russia, co-founded the Canadian Hydrogen Safety Program in His committee does not deal directly with cars, but has created a family of fuelling standards, so everything related to the interface between fuelling station dispenser and hydrogen-fuelled cars falls under this remit.
The future of alternative fuel-powered cars
There are general requirements and also more specific ones concerning components like the dispenser, compressor, valves, fittings and fuelling hoses. It is complicated, though, despite there being many stakeholders working together to develop the necessary requirements for a level playing field.
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So now, in addition to light-duty vehicles, standards have to be developed for much higher on-board storage quantities and address the need to refuel as quickly as possible using much higher flows. Besides these capacity issues, both fuel cells and batteries face scaling challenges potentially limiting their independent larger-scale mobility applications.
These include thermal and water management and increased-size balance of plant for cooling. Future concepts on that issue are developed at the Wuppertal Institute, describing the different possible substitutions of traditional fuels. These alternatives include natural gas, biofuels, hydrogen as well as electromobility.
The different future options are assessed with regard to technical potentials, costs, economic viability, current and future market prospects, competing opportunities of use both in the mobile and stationary sector, as well as climate compatibility and resource consumption.