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NREL drives toward the future with fuel cell EVs
Date:6/25/2013

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A man stands in front of the open hood of the vehicle. A group is gathered around him looking at the components of the vehicle under the hood. Enlarge image

Refuel Cell and Hydrogen Technologies Laboratory Program Manager Keith Wipke, (in red) explains what's under the hood of the Toyota Highlander fuel cell hybrid vehicle at the NREL Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle Ride and Drive Event. These vehicles will help the lab enhance its research capabilities related to hydrogen infrastructure, renewable hydrogen production, and vehicle performance.

Credit: Dennis Schroeder

The four FCEVs, on a two-year loan from Toyota as part of a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with NREL, will be put through a wide platform of testing and analysis at the lab. The vehicles were originally deployed in California in 2009 and have been redeployed to NREL as part of this CRADA.

"We're looking at the whole system from renewable hydrogen production and vehicle fueling equipment to the impact of driving patterns and behavior on vehicle performance," said Keith Wipke, NREL Laboratory Program Manager for Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technologies. "Because the vehicles will be four or five years old by the time our loan period ends, we will be able to observe extended durability and reliability, which are critical to the commercial success of these types of vehicles."

Testing will include observing how the vehicles interact with fueling infrastructure and fueling stations that operate at different pressures. While most hydrogen is currently produced from natural gas, at NREL, the vehicles will be fueled with renewable hydrogen made from wind and solar energy as part of the Wind-to-Hydrogen project at the lab's National Wind Technology Center. This project uses wind turbines and solar arrays to power electrolyzers that split water into hydrogen and oxygen.

"These vehicles are emission free, but in m
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Contact: David Glickson
david.glickson@nrel.gov
303-275-4097
DOE/National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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