The first affordable mass transit vehicle powered by a hydrogen fuel cell is already under development
Researchers from the Birmingham City University are prepared to show the concept and design behind what could become world's first affordable vehicle for mass transportation, powered by hydrogen fuel cells.
As part of a collaboration with British entrepreneur and automaker Spencer Ashley and the DYPDC Center for Automotive Research in Pune, the University's pioneering project will be unveiled in India later this week at the Auto Expo Motor Show. Show.
In development since last summer at Spencer Ashley's Walsall factory, the collaborative project grew out of the initiative "Hydrogen Highway" of the Indian government, which aims to ensure that at least 1 million hydrogen-powered vehicles hit the roads by 2020. The model will be displayed at the Fair along with blueprints for a fuel cell electric vehicle (also known as hydrogen vehicle 'Millennium Tuk-Tuk') and could provide a primary mode of public transport in India of the future.
The joint collaborative project between the University, DYPDC, and Spencer Ashley has been created to produce a four-wheeler to replace the abundant rickshaws, affectionately known as the Tuk Tuk utility vehicle.
The powertrain of this innovative new zero-emission car consists of a hydrogen fuel cell, an electric motor and a complex control system. Hydrogen for the vehicle is stored in a set of low pressure metal hydride cylinders, providing a safe means of powering the system. A thermal compressor recovers the hydrogen produced by dissociating water into its constituent elements -hydrogen and oxygen- through solar energy. Hydrogen storage cylinders can then be used to power equipment such as mobile phones or computers; illuminate remote and developing areas or in a humanitarian disaster situation; and to power an electric vehicle.
According to Parmjit Chima, Director of the Birmingham City University College of Systems Engineering, Design and Manufacturing: “With the current climate agenda of a low carbon economy and the need to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions greenhouse, the way vehicles depend on fossil fuels has to change.
“With the abundance of sunshine we have in India, we have also been developing a 'hydrogen tree' concept with a simple and aesthetically elegant design that would be capable of charging multiple hydride stores to power not only vehicles, but also to other gadgets and devices. This research on the extraction and storage of hydrogen can really be a game changer. "