There must be something in the water in the Netherlands, because innovation seems to emerge there in high concentrations. Today, it's a hydrogen-powered scooter, created as a working prototype by a student at Delft University of Technology. It currently runs on a lithium ion battery, due to permitting regulations surrounding the development of hydrogen-powered engines, but the design is ready to roll following the unsnarling of permitting processes.
According to the press release:
The scooter has an electric in-wheel motor that derives its power from a (Li-)ion battery. This battery (primarily when the scooter is stationary) is charged by a compact fuel-cell system, which derives its energy from hydrogen (from a tank) and oxygen (from the air). The battery moreover stores up energy when the scooter brakes...Apart from being environmentally friendly, the Fhybrid performs better than regular petrol powered scooters during test drives. The Fhybrid has a top speed of 65 km/ph, accelerates faster than regular scooters and can travel approximately 200 km on a full tank of hydrogen.
as much as I have disagreements with greeny fantasies, I think this scooter is a wonderful development. it's a good proof of concept device but need significant enhancements for practical use. if the current performance model is just fitted with enough to make it pass licensing authorities, it's a nice urban toy.
In order to make a truly practical for distance (600mi/day) transport, it needs to have the equivalent of a 400 cc motor, ride two people, and be able to carry a significant amount of cargo. for a role model, I suggest looking at the Suzuki Burgman 400.
for just around town (i.e. hour drive) with significant payload (i.e. groceries), two-person seat plus 250 cc motor equivalent is about right (see: daelim s2 250 for example)
in any case, I am disappointed that the press release photo shows a squid. No helmet, rolled up pants, flip-flops. Dumping that scooter even at 30 kph would leave an awful lot of blood on the pavement and possibly significant brain dammage.
squids give careful scooterists a bad name.
country mouse - "In order to make a truly practical for distance (600mi/day) transport"
Why would you do this? In just about all studies of ACTUAL rather than imagined car/bike use the average daily use is about 20km. About 95% of all car trips are under 100km.
I don't see why this scooter needs hydrogen. The Li/ion batteries should be fine.
why would I do this? It's actually a very rough rule of thumb for a whole performance envelope. a larger miles per day capacity unloaded is roughly equivalent to a heavier load for a shorter distance. For example a commercial vehicle transporting goods by trailer. also, think about vacation time. If I'm going somewhere, I may want to drive by myself or with a partner. Traveling between Boston and Washington, DC should be practical as a single hop on a personal vehicle.
This rough rule of thumb also covers degradation of the energy source with respect to time. Yes, you may be able to go 600 miles on a charge when the thing is new but if you lose 50%, you still can go at least 300 miles. Where is if you have a scooter that only goes 20 km, and use 50% of your charge, you can only go 10 km which means you need to replace power sources much more frequently.
personally, I don't drive much because I work at home but when I do drive, I'm typically traveling between 100 and 500 miles per day with no other time efficient travel options available. so for me, 600 mile range is really not that far off the beaten path. But you're right, for urbanites, a 20 km range should be more than sufficient if they're willing to replace their batteries every year or two.
as you ask, why does it needs hydrogen? it is a proof of concept vehicle trying to create a market for hydrogen distribution. What they've done instead is given a really superb proof of concept of a battery-powered vehicle with recharging by a self-contained low output current source. batteries want to be charged slowly and consistently. Quick charge systems inevitably mean shorter life for the batteries. This is why next-generation hybrid vehicles will use ultracaps or super caps to soak up charge rapidly (i.e. regenerative braking) in addition to batteries for longer-term energy sources.
so, that's why it needs hydrogen. that and you can't always find a plug at the end of your range. A self-contained power source for charging changes electric vehicles from a toy into something practical. think about locations without a power grid and electricity comes from a generator that runs three hours in the evening or, a Western country after a major weather event knocking out the power grid for days in a time. electric vehicle without a self-contained energy source is useful only for a very short time.
again, think vehicle use in disaster planning.
country mouse - So we should build millions of vehicles again to suit what you might do rather that what you really do.
"Traveling between Boston and Washington, DC should be practical as a single hop on a personal vehicle."
Why and how far is that? - I live in Australia. BTW is there not a train or something?
"But you're right, for urbanites, a 20 km range should be more than sufficient if they're willing to replace their batteries every year or two."
Planning for the urbanites in Australia accounts for 95% of the population. I think the USA is quite similar. For people such as yourself as long as the majority use electricity there is sufficient land to grow enough ethanol for plug in hybrids using living batteries. New research is porviding ways to generate electricity from ethanol using biological processes. New batteries such as those from A123 systems will have 2000 or 3000 cycle lives and charge in 10 or 20 minutes.
"so, that's why it needs hydrogen. that and you can't always find a plug at the end of your range. A self-contained power source for charging changes electric vehicles from a toy into something practical. think about locations without a power grid and electricity comes from a generator that runs three hours in the evening"
Firstly where do you get the hydrogen? Secondly hydrogen refuelling stations will almost certainly be totally reliant on electricity to work. You cannot hand pump either compressed or liquid hydrogen. Loss of electricity will result in loss of hydrogen refuelling capability.
The thing apparently runs quite well with electricity. Forget the hydrogen. Very few people would even think of using a scooter to drive 600 miles. In reality, our future is unsustainable if we continue to use persoanl automotive devices to go 600 miles. Think trains. Better yet. Find more to do closer to home .
We also have proof of concept cars, and they cost $1 million. What is the cost of this baby?
"Why and how far is that? - I live in Australia. BTW is there not a train or something?"
about 500 miles, trains run a couple of times a day and door to door takes longer than driving or flying even if the trains don't break down. otoh, you can look out over industial landscape if the motion has not made you sick.
40 min to train to boston
1 hr+ to south station
6hrs min to dc
40-1.5hrs to most office parks
time are not including wait times for next transport stage
driving is about the same and you can leave at any time.
public transport spends time
private transport spends energy
for me time is worth more. energy would need to cost about 100$/hr of transport time before I use mass transport.
"Loss of electricity will result in loss of hydrogen refuelling capability."
a spare tank and a backup generator or PV + batteries can pump out an H2 station. this is same problem as dino station in power outages.
I agree with t, it's just ridiculous to use a scooter to travel such a long distance. That's a highly inefficient idea. 500 miles seems ideal for high-speed rail (especially if it's between two major cities), and too short to fly... and environmentally speaking, you can't really justify using a car unless you're moving a ton of stuff.
country mouse, modern trains don't really shake at all, so the odds of getting sick from them seem pretty low to me. I hope you're not evaluating the passenger rail experience based on US examples. In many other countries, trains run faster, more often, quieter, and smoother. Sleeper cars, in particular, can be quite luxurious.
country mouse - "a spare tank and a backup generator or PV + batteries can pump out an H2 station. this is same problem as dino station in power outages."
However this could be just as easily used to recharge the electric vehicle.
Really, country mouse...
it seems perfectly obvious that this vehicle was never intended for you. You say "for urbanites, a 20 km range should be more than sufficient." well, is it a scooter? then it's for urbanites.
as for Boston to DC, I've done that drive - horrendous. I'll take the train every time.
you also say "I'm typically traveling between 100 and 500 miles per day with no other time efficient travel options available." living far from urban amenities like transit means you go without. you live the country mouse life because you dislike cities (I gather from your past posts) - well, welcome to it.