This won’t be the first time I’ve talked turkey about Turkey. In July 2011, I had spoken about how Turkey had built the EkoKaravan that runs off a variety of energy sources including hydrogen. Turkish engineers had also built the SAHIMO hydrogen car and an H2 refueling station as well.
Now, with Thanksgiving only a few weeks away it’s time to talk Turkey again. Unlike most other hydrogen cars on the road this one is special. Most of today’s H2 cars run on compressed hydrogen gas or a few run on cryogenic liquid hydrogen.
The new car developed in Turkey runs off sodium borohydride (NaBH4), a hydrogen rich chemical carrier for H2. Borohydride is made from the chemical element boron of which Turkey owns 70-percent of the world’s supply.
So, it only makes sense that a country rich in boron would develop a fuel cell vehicle made from a borohydride (there are different varieties such as sodium borohydride, lithium borohydride, etc.).
According to the Hurriyet Daily News, “Turkey, the land of boron minerals, has a considerable capacity of refined borates besides being the biggest borate ore producer of the world. Although 71 percent of the reserves are in Turkey, about 92 percent of the production is exported worldwide and 8 percent is used domestically, according to BOREN data.”
So, you see, Turkey is not only developing a product with their fuel cell car but they are also a unique supplier for the fuel for this car. This reminds me of the manufacturers of small desktop printers who make more money selling ink than they do in the printers themselves.
So, if Turkey plays their cards right (or cars right) they will be able sometime in the future to export fuel cell cars and the fuel to countries eager to step into the 21st century.