Efforts currently underway at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are contributing to rapid progress in the research, development and testing of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.
Building from more than 10 years of support from the Department's Fuel Cell Technologies Office on these topics, NREL has received four Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicles Advanced (FCHV-adv) on loan from Toyota. These vehicles will help NREL enhance its research capabilities related to hydrogen fueling infrastructure, renewable hydrogen production, and vehicle performance.
Zero-Emission Fuel Cell Vehicles are Rapidly Evolving
The Toyota vehicle represents another step toward the commercialization of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). Hydrogen fuel is most often produced using domestic resources and can also be produced using clean renewable energy technologies. When hydrogen is used to power an FCEV, the vehicle has zero tail pipe emissions.
The fuel cells in the Highlander FCHV-adv are representative of the FCEV designs being demonstrated today by automobile companies around the world, making this design an excellent platform for NREL's research activities. Toyota also plans to introduce an FCEV sedan to the U.S. commercial market in 2015.
The zero-emission FCHV-adv, based on a mid-size sport utility vehicle (SUV) platform, has an expected driving range of 325 miles and a fuel economy estimated at 60 miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent (GGE). GGE is a method for measuring the fuel economy of alternative fuels compared to gasoline and represents the amount of an alternative fuel equal to the energy in one liquid gallon of gasoline.
The vehicle is powered by a fuel cell system with light weight, high-pressure hydrogen tanks, an electric motor, a nickel hydride battery, and a power-control unit that determines the split of power from the battery or fuel cell stack to power the vehicle.
|Contact: David Glickson|
DOE/National Renewable Energy Laboratory