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Nikola Motor Company and Bosch team up on long-haul fuel cell truck PDF Print E-mail

A truck with up to 1,200 miles in range will run on Bosch’s eAxle platform.

Enlarge / This is what the Nikola Two will look like.
Nikola Motor Company
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Salt Lake City-based Nikola Motor Company and German auto components giant Bosch are teaming up to build the Nikola One and Nikola Two—a pair of hydrogen-electric, long-haul trucks that will compete with the handful of other low-emissions trucks and powertrains that have been announced in mid-2017.

The Nikola One truck isn’t a new development, but the startup’s partnership with Bosch is. Last December, Nikola Motor Company announced that it would build a hydrogen-electric truck that would be able to travel 1,200 miles on a tank of hydrogen and deliver 1,000 horsepower and 2,000 foot-pounds of torque. The company said at the time that its truck, deemed the Nikola One, would be market-ready by 2020.

Now, that market-ready date has been pushed back to 2021, but adding Bosch’s experience into the mix no doubt helps firm up Nikola Motor Company’s projections. According to a press release from the startup, the class 8 Nikola One and Nikola Two will now be built on Bosch’s eAxle—an integrated unit blending motor, power electronics, and transmission. Bosch's eAxle was only just announced this January.

The Nikola trucks will both pair hydrogen fuel cells with a 320kWh battery pack and offer a payload capacity of 65,000 pounds. That number demonstrates just how much bigger long-haul trucks need to be versus short-haul trucks—Daimler announced a new all-electric short haul truck last week, but its payload capacity will be about 7,000 pounds.

At the moment, Nikola Motor Company's primary competitor would be Cummins, the diesel truck engine maker that announced an all-electric powertrain capable of hauling 22 tons, or about 44,000 pounds, on a 140kWh battery pack for 100 miles. Cummins said the power train could be paired with an on-board diesel generator to triple the car's range.

Although battery-only trucks have a much shorter range than hydrogen-electric vehicles, both new technologies are hampered by a similar problem, that is, where to refuel/recharge. Back in December, Nikola Motor Company added that it would build 364 hydrogen fueling stations throughout North America starting in 2018.

The dual-motor design and the fuel cell system in the Nikola One and Two will also be developed with Bosch's help, with a view to maximizing the truck's range. The truck's controls and software will also be a product of the Nikola/Bosch partnership. Bosch is well familiar with vehicle software, too—notoriously it helped develop the software that Volkswagen diesel vehicles ran to cheat federal emissions tests.

But with fuel cell vehicles, the only emission is water, so it strains the imagination to think of a way to repeat such a stunt. At the moment, prices aren't available for the Nikola One or Two, but the company says the trucks will reflect "a competitive total cost of ownership" compared to traditional powertrains.

 
Ballard to supply hydrogen fuel cells to Pau buses PDF Print E-mail

 

20 Sept 2017 

FRANCE: Ballard Power Systems has signed a letter of intent with Van Hool to provide hydrogen fuel cells for eight buses that Van Hool is supplying to operate a BRT route in Pau.

Due to be delivered in the second half of 2019, the 18 m buses with capacity for 125 passengers will use fuel cells with back up from lithium batteries. Ballard will supply its FCveloCity-HD 100 kW fuel cell engines. These will allow the buses to run for up to 300 km between refuelling, which takes 10 min.

ENGIE subsidiary GNVERT is to build and operate the hydrogen refuelling stations. The project is being funded through the EU’s Fuel Cells & Hydrogen Joint Undertaking programme.

 
Methanol Fuel Cell Powered Passenger Ferry Sets Sail PDF Print E-mail

By MarEx 2017-08-28 19:28:15

The MS innogy, the first vessel in Germany to be powered by methanol fuel cells, was named on Friday. The passenger ferry, which will sail on Lake Baldeneysee, Essen, features a fuel cell system manufactured by the Danish fuel cell manufacture SerEnergy.

The ferry was built to showcase the potential of methanol as a fuel of the future and is the result cooperation between energy company innogy and SerEnergy. 

The SerEnergy methanol fuel cell system is a modular solution, says the company, a unique feature within the fuel cell industry where other systems would require more development work for individual projects. 

The MS innogy fuel cell system is a 35kW system consisting of seven 5kW modules integrated in one rack. The energy system is a hybrid constellation consisting of a fuel cell system and a battery pack, where the fuel cells work as a range extender allowing the vessel to sail for an entire day without fueling. Using waste heat from the fuel cell to drive the methanol reformation process leads to a high electrical efficiency between 40-50 percent.

There are no harmful air emissions, and the system is CO2-neutral, as well as being low on noise and vibrations.

The system for MS innogy is based on knowledge and experience that SerEnergy has gained being part of the Pa-X-ell test program, where a methanol fuel cell system was placed on a cruise ship to produce electricity for the ship’s internal power grid.

The MS innogy is a part of innogy’s “greenfuel” project designed to demonstrate the entire value chain of environmentally friendly methanol, from a green production of methanol using CO2 from the surrounding air, green electricity and water, to the use of methanol as fuel in the excursion vessel and in cars. The scene of the methanol value chain demonstration project is the City of Essen – this year’s Green Capital of Europe. 


 
Hyundai Bets Hard on Hydrogen, Showcases Next Gen Tucson ix35 FCEV PDF Print E-mail


Hyundai certainly isn't giving up on hydrogen as an alternative fuel source, as it's just unveiled a new generation FCEV it's planning to offer for sale next year.

Hyundai Bets Hard on Hydrogen, Showcases Next Gen Tucson ix35 FCEV
The close-to-production-ready Hyundai model showed off its impressive capabilities as well as its futuristic design. (Image: Hyundai)

There have been no big proclamations from any manufacturers recently about hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCEV) as the eventual replacements for today's petrol and diesel combustion engine powered models. But Hyundai certainly isn't giving up on hydrogen as an alternative fuel source, as it's just unveiled a new generation FCEV it's planning to offer for sale next year.

Hyundai already has one FCEV available in the shape of the Tucson Fuel Cell (ix35), although its availability is extremely limited both in terms of numbers and geographically. Now the South Korean manufacturer has given us an advance look at its next-generation fuel cell vehicle, well in advance of the new SUV's official launch early in 2018.

Through a specially-arranged preview event held in the Korean capital of Seoul, the close-to-production-ready model showed off its impressive capabilities as well as its futuristic design. The new model doesn't have a name yet, but it embodies Hyundai's ongoing commitment to a new era for advanced eco-friendly vehicle technology and development.
Four key areas of FCEV technology are addressed by this fourth-generation Hyundai fuel cell -- fuel cell system efficiency, performance (maximum output), durability, and tank storage density.

The new model has a fuel efficiency level of 60 percent, which is a 9 percent increase over the Hyundai Tucson's 55.3 percent, and the maximum output has been increased by 20 percent over and above its predecessor to an impressive 163PS.

Thanks to new highly durable catalyst technology, the new generation FCEV also has greater durability than the current generation. And instead of two differently-sized fuel tanks as in the current Hyundai FCEVs, the new version utilizes three tanks, all similarly-sized and made of more advanced plastics to reduce thickness.

Hyundai's new hydrogen-powered SUV will be fully revealed next year in Korea, with European and North American markets following shortly afterwards. As well as the advanced fuel cell technology, the new model will also feature a number of driver assistance technologies, details of which will be disclosed in January at the 2018 CES, along with the official name for the new model.
 
Nitin Gadkari bats for methanol as ship fuel, to approach Union Cabinet PDF Print E-mail


 Eight days ago we had a meeting (with veteran scientist and Niti Aayog member V K Saraswat) where we decided that if marine engines are run on methanol, it can be import substitute, cost-effective and pollution-free," the minister said.

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Nitin Gadkari bats for methanol as ship fuel, to approach Union Cabinet

Mumbai: Union minister Nitin Gadkari today said the government is considering a proposal to allow use of methanol as a fuel for ships, which he said would be a cheaper, cleaner and forex-saving alternative to diesel.

"We are studying deeply how to use methanol as a marine fuel and will be going before the Cabinet soon," he told reporters here.

"Eight days ago we had a meeting (with veteran scientist and Niti Aayog member V K Saraswat) where we decided that if marine engines are run on methanol, it can be import substitute, cost-effective and pollution-free," the minister said.

Saraswat examined a proposal to build 40 bunkers of liquefied natural gas along the river Ganga as part of the inland waterways project, and suggested methanol as an alternative (to LNG), Gadkari said.

Against Rs 60 for a litre of diesel, methanol would cost Rs 20-25, while its calorific value is better than that of diesel, he said, adding "the biggest priority for us is how to reduce the cost of fuel."

The minister also quipped that loss-making civic transport undertaking BEST of Mumbai can cut its losses if it starts running its buses on methanol.

Methanol is used as fuel in several countries, he said, recounting his travel on a cruise ship in Sweden which ran on 100 per cent methanol.

As the fuel is derived from coal, switch-over to methanol would benefit India, a coal surplus country, he said.

The fuel can be sourced from fertiliser companies such as RCF and Deepak Fertilisers located in or near Mumbai, one of the biggest maritime trade hubs in the country, he said.

Swedish automaker Volvo has built trucks running on methanol while Wartsila has made an engine running on 100 per cent methanol, he said.

Existing diesel engines can be converted into methanol ones by fitting a kit, similar to the one used to convert petrol or diesel engines into Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) engines, he said. AA KRK
 
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