-Pedego®, Electric Bikes and SiGNa Chemistry have developed a battery-fuel cell hybrid system that is compatible with all existing Pedego bicycles and batteries. For every 1.5 lbs. of weight a rider carries, an additional 700 watt-hours of energy is available. An ultra-high performance lithium-polymer battery to provide the same power would weigh 14 lbs (over 9 times the weight).
The Pedego – SiGNa hybrid system utilizes the battery for peak conditions such as acceleration and hill climbing, while the fuel cell to extend the operating range of a Pedego bicycle by over 40 miles for each additional cartridge. Riders can carry additional cartridges which are real-time hot-swappable. A key innovation is the use of sodium silicide to liberate hydrogen from water as needed by the hybrid fuel cell. This process happens at a very low pressure of less than 30 psi (a soda can typically has 55 psi at room temperature).
Suzuki working on fuel cells for scooters
The Suzuki Burgman Fuel Cell Scooter, made by clean power systems company IE and Suzuki Motor Corp., was tested in Loughborough February 2010, with further road tests planned for London later in 2010.
A mass market introduction of fuel cell scooters is being targeted for 2015. The bike can go up to 220 miles — comparable to a conventional Burgman scooter — without the need for refueling. This then takes less than five minutes at a hydrogen fuelling station. There are plans for 6 or more refueling stations in London by the 2012 Olympics.
Asian Fuel Cell Vehicle
Asia Pacific Fuel Cell Technologies (APFCT) has completed a 620 mile test drive (June 2010) of their hydrogen fuel cell scooter around the island of Taiwan off the coast of China. This sets a world record for distance for an on-road test drive for a fuel cell scooter.
And this test was not only of the scooter, but also of the mass production techniques to produce the scooter as well as the vendors who produce some of the parts that go into building the fuel cell scooter.
Asia Pacific Fuel Cell Technologies is also proposing a unique hydrogen fueling infrastructure to support the scooters. According to APFCT, “In hydrogen refueling, it continued using APFCT’s unique low- pressure metal hydride hydrogen canisters in combination with hydrogen exchange model. The hydrogen refueling and exchange model is similar to the exchange model of gas cylinders prevalently used by many Taiwan households. All hydrogen canisters will be manufactured and refueled with hydrogen in a central facility before being delivered to ‘exchange points’ which can be existing gas stations or convenient stores or other retail network by logistic companies.
“When hydrogen in canisters is depleted, the consumers just need to go to these exchange points to buy and exchange for canisters fully charged with hydrogen to plug in to fuel cell scooters. The whole process of changing canisters takes less than 1 minute. Once new canisters are plugged in, users can immediately ride their fuel cell scooters away, just like the usage of conventional scooters. Because at the present, the hydrogen canister exchange network has yet to be established in Taiwan, so for at this event, we used a tender van to support the hydrogen canister exchange on the trip and changed canisters at the road side whenever needed.”
So, basically, anyone familiar with exchanging canisters for a gas grille will be familiar with a similar concept for this fuel cell scooter
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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