Most of the world’s major automotive companies have programs underway for the production of FCVs (fuel-cell based vehicles that use hydrogen as fuel). Companies like Toyota, Hyundai, and Mercedes are some of the names that have cars in the market already and many others have created consortiums or have increased their recent and development efforts.
The feasibility phase has been proven long ago, hydrogen-powered cars are here. The benefits of fuel cell vehicles are too significant, and the transportation industry is bound to be disrupted in the next decade.
FCVs (Fuel Cell vehicles)
- emit only water vapor and warm air and no CO2 or harmful nitrogen oxides
- run on hydrogen that can be produced from natural gas, solar, wind, and biomass. Depending on the source of production the cars can be truly clean
- can be charged in minutes instead of hours (for electric vehicles) and achieve ranges comparable to today’s gasoline-based cars
FCVs are not limited to commercial cars. Buses and Trucks are the hottest markets and activity, primarily in Asia, is very significant. Projects in the Train and Marine industry are also underway globally.
At Advent, we have focused our efforts on the major problems that FCVs are facing, and we are working on solving them:
Electric vehicles are already popular and widespread, while companies are building a network of charging stations. But they still have and will continue to have a problem: batteries. They take too long to charge, they degrade fast, and they don’t have the flexibility required for a consumer lifestyle. In addition, disposing batteries is a major environmental issue leading to a tremendous need for constant recycling. At Advent, we are working with a major automotive manufacturer on the concept of a hybrid car that combines a typical EV battery with a fuel cell. The Fuel Cell stack runs on multiple, readily available fuels including ethanol, and environmental diesel (dimethyl ether) and works continuously to keep the battery charged, thus removing the major issue of recharging the EV.
One of the major cost drivers of fuel cells is the use of platinum at the catalyst. Advent is in the process of bringing to market patented technology which aims to significantly reduce (cut by 90%) the amount of platinum needed.