Proton Power Systems and Smith Electric Vehicles have teamed up to produce an electric car with fuel cell range extender. This terminology will most likely go over better with battery electric vehicle fans than the term hydrogen fuel cell hybrid vehicle.
Most likely the term electric car with fuel cell range extender was chosen because the electric car without the range extender has a range of about 100 miles. By adding the Proton Power PM200 fuel cell the car picks up another 86 miles in range. Had those numbers been swapped, however we’d most likely be calling this a fuel cell hybrid electric vehicle.
The first commercial EV with FC range extender will be rolled out in Germany in the last quarter of 2010. The first customers will be fleet operators and local authorities. It makes sense that the first vehicles would rollout in Germany which is part of the European Union Hydrogen Highway system.
Germany, which has an area of 137,000 square miles has 30 hydrogen fueling stations in place with a commitment to the acceleration in building more H2 stations over the next 5 years. By comparison, California has an area of 164,000 square miles and has 27 hydrogen fueling stations operational, but not all are open to the public.