A company from the Basque area of Spain, called Tecnalia, has unveiled a hydrogen fuel cell prototype car, known as H2CAR. The Tecnalia ecological car project was developed to demonstrate not only the viability of fuel cell vehicles but hydrogen as a storage medium for renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and wave power.
The H2Car is a hydrogen fuel cell plug-in hybrid vehicle that uses 220v rapid charging batteries to complement the 5kw fuel cell and add extra power to the electric motor when the car is accelerating and passing other vehicles.
In fact, electric car advocates will be happy to know that the batteries of the H2Car can be recharged within a matter of a few minutes. The combination of rapid-charging plug-in hybrid technologies and hydrogen fuel cell technologies make this one of the most flexible FCV’s to come along in recent years.
The storage tanks for the Tecnalia, H2Car are only 200 bar (about 3,500 psi), which is less than other fuel cell vehicles that generally range between 5,000 psi and 10,000 psi for longer range travel. Besides hydrogen-powered car, Tecnalia is also involved in the HIDROTEC project, which uses wind and solar power to produce hydrogen cleanly.
The first phase of the renewable hydrogen production pilot plant has been completed in Basque County, so not only is Tecnalia basking in its recent successes, but its future projects, including wave power look very sunny indeed.