The Volkswagen Touran HyMotion integrates one of Germany's best-selling
compact vans with futuristic high tech fuel cell technology. At
the NHA Annual Hydrogen Conference 2006 in Long Beach, California
in March, Volkswagen put on displayed its Touran HyMotion for
the public to test drive. And test drive we did!
Volkswagen Touran HyMotion - photo by Kevin
I had the privilege of driving the Touran HyMotion from the Long
Beach Convention Center for a test lap around a couple of city
blocks. The Touran HyMotion's peppy acceleration surprised me,
as did the quietness of operation. The only thing that looked
a bit out of place on this Touran was that a PDA was mounted on
the dashboard taking data feeds from the onboard computer system.
Early that day, we took a caravan of eight different hydrogen
cars from the Convention Center to the Air Products refueling
station that was set up several blocks away. The refueling of
these hydrogen cars such as the Touran HyMotion was quick, easy
and based upon pressure per square inch instead of gallons.
The Volkswagen Touran HyMotion accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in
14 seconds with a top speed of approximately 87 mph. The HyMotion
has an 80 kw high torque electric motor and is powered a NiMH
battery pack. The fuel cell is produced by Ballard Power Systems
with a maximum electrical output of 85 kw.
The Volkswagen Touran HyMotion also contains a high capacity
hydrogen fuel tank with a 1.9 kg gaseous hydrogen capacity rated
at 350 bar. The demo vehicles at the NHA Conference were refueled
at 6,000 psi, though some vehicles have the capacity for up to
10,000 psi of pressure. The Touran HyMotion fuel tank is capable
of containing an equivalent of 7.5 litres (2 gallons) of gasoline
with a range of approximately 100 miles.
The Volkswagen Touran HyMotion like other PEM fuel cell vehicles
is rated as a zero emission vehicle. One of the challenges facing
the Touran HyMotion as well as other PEM vehicles is both cold
start and hot start capabilities. Starting vehicles consistently
in either sub-zeros or 100-degree plus temperatures must be resolved
before production vehicles are to be built.
The Touran HyMotion was previously shown in the U. S. in both
the third CaFCP Road Rally and the World Environment Day demonstration
in June 2005 in San Francisco, California.
In June 2008, the Volkswagen
Tiguan Hymotion fuel cell vehicle made its North American
debut and has upgraded many features of the Touran.
Written by Hydro Kevin Kantola