The massive image: Hydrogen gasoline cell vans may turn out to be an awesome various to battery-powered electrical semis sooner or later. They characteristic a variety and cargo capability nearer to diesel-powered vans, with refueling being far faster than charging an EV. Nonetheless, hydrogen manufacturing and distribution do not all the time use renewable sources, that means it is not essentially a “inexperienced” resolution.
Volvo’s truck manufacturing division has simply introduced that it is testing automobiles powered by hydrogen gasoline cells. The corporate claims these vans can have an operational vary of as much as 1,000 km (621 miles), a refueling time of underneath quarter-hour, and a complete weight (together with freight) of over 65 tons.
If these figures are correct, it feels like a sexy various to battery-powered electrical semis for lengthy hauling. For comparability, the Tesla Semi has an marketed vary of as much as 800 km (497 miles) and can reportedly take over half-hour to cost at a megawatt charging station.
Every truck will come geared up with two hydrogen gasoline cells that may generate 300 kW of electrical energy onboard. CellCentric, a three way partnership between Volvo Group and Daimler, would be the provider of those cells.
The benefit of utilizing hydrogen as a gasoline is that it solely emits water vapor as an alternative of polluting exhaust fumes. Nonetheless, the vitality utilized in producing hydrogen (or slightly, separating it from different parts) does not essentially have to return from renewable sources. In actual fact, the overwhelming majority of hydrogen era is primarily based on fossil fuels these days.
One other downside is the restricted availability of hydrogen refueling stations. There are underneath 60 stations operational within the US in the intervening time, with all of them being in California. That quantity will supposedly solely double over the subsequent yr.