The company has released a video demonstrating the operation of the so-called Mantra Spark, an electric scooter powered solely by a mixed-reactant fuel cell (MRFC). This is the first time a vehicle has been powered by such as system.
The MRFC is unconventional in that it does not use a membrane. Therefore, it avoids many of the pitfalls that are associated with the use of membranes in ‘conventional’ fuel cells and there are associated reductions in size, cost and weight. Mantra Energy Alternatives claims that, as a consequence of volume reductions, the system has a higher volumetric power density than alternatives, despite having a lower efficiency than some other fuel cell systems. The cell accepts a mixture of fuel and oxidant. The Spark was powered using formate salts, although the MRFC can accept a range of fuels.