Developments in Auxiliary Power for Vehicles

Fuel cells are widely recognised as a technology of the future and as a potential replacement for the internal combustion engine in cars and other vehicles.This article looks at the potential for fuel cells to provide auxiliary power to vehicles, rather than primary motive power.

Today, hydrogen-fuelled proton exchange membrane (PEM) type fuel cells, as illustrated in Figure 1, are being showcased in the demonstration fleets of some major carmakers and in government supported programmes such as CUTE (Clean Urban Transport for Europe) which has fuel cell buses operating in a number of European cities. Although these demonstrations are said to be progressing well, current fuel cell technology still has a huge challenge to match the cost, performance and reliability of the internal combustion engine (ICE).

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