With the aim to develop a cost efficient and environmentally friendly vehicle, the Danish methanol fuel cell manufacturer SerEnergy is now launching a commercial reformed methanol fuel cell vehicle with a driving range up to 800 km on a tank of methanol.
The engineers and mechanics at SerEnergy’s mobility development centre, located in Aalborg, Denmark, has developed a reformed methanol fuel cell (RMFC) vehicle based on the Nissan e-NV200 electric car platform, a car that is being sold in large numbers worldwide. The car is equipped with an urban range extender which enables up to 800 km before the car needs refuelling, and is therefore ideal for an urban driving pattern covering many kilometres, such as taxies, delivery van and other commercial vehicles.
It has been three years since SerEnergy started the development of a fuel cell solution for the mobility segment, with a first-generation RMFC-vehicle based on a Fiat 500 platform. Now, more than a year’s development work has resulted in the launch of the second-generation RMFC-system with great potential on a broad variety of applications such as commercial vehicles and busses.
“This is an important step for us in realizing our vision – to wipe the Internal Combustion Engine from the face of the earth. The market is searching for green alternatives to fossil fuels, so we see great potential in this type of vehicle both nationally and internationally and we are thrilled to see the first cars on the road”, says Mads Friis Jensen, Chief Commercial Officer at SerEnergy.
Positive environmental and economic impact
Besides being environmentally friendly, with zero harmful emissions and an exhaust that is as clean as the air surrounding us, the system also benefits on the overall driving economy with a significant reduction in fuel price as well as being more than double as energy efficient compared to petrol and diesel. As participants in a methanol infrastructure project, SerEnergy has taken part in the development of a filling station for methanol with a refuelling process that is not much different than what we know from traditional fuelling with petrol or diesel.
A perfect hybrid
The vehicles are developed as a hybrid which combines a reformed methanol fuel cell system with a battery pack. The combination of batteries and methanol is an ideal combination where methanol fuels the vehicle on the range and batteries kicks in during start-up and acceleration peaks. When the two technologies are supplementing each other, both technologies can perform as they do best thereby reducing the size of the battery pack and the capacity of the fuel cell significantly, resulting in a vehicle that is both cost and energy efficient.
The second-generation cars hit the road later this summer
The first commercial cars are going to be part of the German “greenfuel” project where innogy, one of the leading energy companies in Europe, is demonstrating the entire value chain of methanol as an alternative liquid fuel over traditional fossil fuels. The RMFC-system has been undergoing thorough testing and has been tested on the roads for more than a year with great results.