A Toyota Prius hybrid retrofitted to run on liquid hydrogen by researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has traveled 650 miles on one tank. The researchers have designed a cryogenic tank without the typical boil-off problem as is present in other current low temperature liquid hydrogen tanks.
The cryogenic tanks hold 150 liters of LH2 (liquid hydrogen) and are made of carbon fiber that envelops an aluminum lining. The tank can store either liquid or compressed hydrogen gas similar to the BMW cryogenic tank breakthrough I had talked about back in April this year. BMW’s super-cooled cryo-compression tanks were tested in a mono-fueled Hydrogen 7 luxury car that actually cleaned the ambient air surrounding the vehicle.
According to Livermore researchers, compressed hydrogen is better utilized by the Prius on short trips (and is less expensive) and liquid hydrogen is ideal for longer trips. The Livermore tank is also safe as it has been burned, drop tested, and shot with bullets without incidents of fire or explosion.
One of the myths about hydrogen vehicles has been that they don’t have the range of today’s standard vehicles. That myth was exposed last November when Toyota proved that their FCHV had a range of 485 miles. Now, on World Environment Day, the myth is once again trounced by the 650-mile hydrogen-powered Prius.