FEV has developed a fuel cell range extender and successfully integrated it in the subcompact category of the current battery-electric vehicle (BEV). In order to demonstrate the compatibility of this technology, the engineers have decided to use a Fiat 500 based BEV, which represents a particular challenge in its existing space. They have come up with a Fiat 500 that was selected from the e-vehicle fleet of FEV.
This fuel cell range extender concept was designed to feature serial hybrid powertrains. Thus, the primary power is provided via a rechargeable, external battery, in contrast with plug-in hybrids, which the primary functions include brake energy regeneration, local or emission-free driving and boosting.
The hydrogen fuel cell FEV Fiat 500 has a top speed of around 75 mph and range of around 174 miles.
Better Thermal Management
In the current combustion engine-powered Fiat 500, a conventional radiator is being used. On the other hand, the new design is significantly larger and cooler as it increased the fan power to suit the fuel cell system. According to FEV, this is required since fuel cell technology releases the heat almost exclusively at a lower temperature level through the coolant, unlike combustion engines.
Hydrogen as an Energy Carrier
Hydrogen is seen as both a fuel and an energy carrier. The FEV Fiat 500 tank was designed to carry pressurized hydrogen and both 5,000 psi and 10,000 psi.