Other tests will investigate how drivers interact with the vehicles and influence performance over the test period. Researchers will look at the effects of environment and driving patterns on the vehicles' energy storage and propulsion systems, and demonstrate the vehicles operational capability in real-world activities.
On behalf of the Energy Department, NREL is also planning public outreach and education efforts to better prepare the market for the deployment of these types of vehicles. NREL will offer first-hand exposure to hydrogen and fuel cell vehicle technologies to a variety of audiences, including the general public, academia, and the automotive industry.
Getting Ready for Our Transportation Future
A white Toyota sport utility vehicle is parked in a parking lot. Two people are standing in the parking lot looking at the vehicle. Enlarge image
NREL employees investigate a Toyota Highlander fuel cell hybrid vehicle at the lab's Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle Ride and Drive Event.
Credit: Dennis Schroeder
FCEVs use hydrogen, stored in high-pressure tanks made of carbon fiber resin, which is fed to the fuel cell stack where it combines with oxygen from the air. The electricity produced by this chemical reaction is used to power the electric motor and charge the battery.
"For someone like myself who is not an electrochemist, it's truly a fascinating technology," Wipke said. "Hydrogen atoms interact with a membrane coated with small amounts of platinum, which splits the hydrogen into protons and electrons. The protons pass through the membrane, and the electrons go around a different path and do the useful electrical wor
|Contact: David Glickson|
DOE/National Renewable Energy Laboratory